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Southampton Clinical Trials UnitNews

First patient recruited in trial for a new non-invasive way of assessing patients for coronary heart disease

Published: 11 January 2018
Picture of heart monitor
Picture of heart monitor

The first patients in FORECAST, a large trial assessing patients presenting with chest pain across the UK, have been recruited at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

The first patients in FORECAST, a large trial assessing patients presenting with chest pain across the UK, have been recruited at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust1.   The trial is being managed by the Southampton Clinical Trials Unit2. FORECAST is comparing the way patients referred for assessment of possible angina are first assessed and then treated with a new, non-invasive technology called FFRCT3.  Professor Nick Curzen, Consultant Cardiologist and Chief Investigator explains:  “FFRCT uses the output from a computed tomography (CT) scan of the coronary arteries. This tells us whether there are narrowings or blockages in the coronary arteries, and then incorporates this into a sophisticated model to reveal whether the narrowings are causing a restriction in the blood supply to the heart.  By knowing both whether there are narrowings and also whether there is a restriction in blood supply, doctors can decide whether a patient is experiencing angina and then the best way of treating them.  FFRCT may save many patients from the inconvenience and risk of an invasive angiogram plus provide cost savings to the NHS.  FORECAST is planning to recruit 1400 patients in about 10 centres around the UK.

 1.      University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest acute teaching trusts in England, with an annual spend of £700 million at three sites across the city of Southampton. It provides hospital services for 1.9 million people living in Southampton and southern Hampshire and specialist services including neurosciences, respiratory medicine, cancer, cardiovascular, obstetrics and specialist children’s services to more than 3.7 million people in central southern England and the Channel Islands.

 Every year more than 10,500 staff, including more than 700 consultants, professors and senior lecturers, see 585,000 people at outpatient appointments, deal with 120,000 attendances at the emergency department and treat 150,000 admitted emergency, inpatient or day case patients. In addition, the Trust delivers more than 100 outpatient clinics across the South of England to keep services local for patients. Providing these services costs £1.9 million per day.

 2.       The Southampton Clinical Trials Unit (SCTU) is a UKCRC registered CTU with expertise in the design, conduct and analysis of multicentre interventional clinical trials. We work in partnership with investigators to deliver high quality trials that will directly influence routine clinical practice.

 3.      HeartFlow, Inc., is a medical technology company working on how cardiovascular disease is diagnosed and treated. The company offers HeartFlow Analysis, a non-invasive solution that enables a physician to evaluate whether a patient has significant coronary artery disease based on anatomy and physiology. Its HeartFlow Analysis is available in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The company was founded in 2007 and is based in Redwood City, California.

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