Mission of A-CURE

The A-CURE Working Group at the A-CURE Faculty winter meeting in Orlando, FL, March, 2018. (L to R) Kenji Sunagawa, Hermann Reichenspurner, Nir Uriel, George Vetrovec, Eric Peterson, Shiv Annamalai, Bill O'Neill, Jeff Moses, Navin Kapur, Thorsten Siess, Patrick Hunziker, Ryan Tedford, Mohamad Alkhouli, Bart Meyns, Kiyo Ishikawa, Ralf Westenfeld, Jacob Moller, Andreas Schaefer, Bob Kloner

“Advancing the science and mechanistic understanding of acute cardiac unloading, supporting the translation of basic and clinical research into therapies aimed at heart muscle recovery.”

The mission of the A-CURE Working Group is to advance the science and mechanistic understanding of acute cardiac unloading and support the translation of basic and clinical research into therapies aimed at heart muscle recovery. Cardiac traumas such as myocardial infarction (commonly called a heart attack), myocarditis, peripartum cardiomyopathy, cardiogenic shock, and takotsubo cardiomyopathy amongst others each result in an impaired ability of the heart to pump blood. Without proper blood flow (also called cardiac output), all organ systems will eventually be starved of nutrients and oxygen, leading to their ultimate death—and death of the patient. As such, maintaining cardiac output is the primary objective of therapeutic approaches treating these traumas. However, fundamental difficulties arise when applying currently indicated therapies. With the exception of cardiopulmonary bypass, therapies intended to increase cardiac output each put further stress on the heart. This begins a vicious cycle in which increased cardiac output is required due to damage to the heart, but to achieve this the damaged heart must work harder. This exacerbates the stress placed on the already damaged heart, and leads to poorer outcomes in patients.1-9 Using current therapeutic approaches, the heart is never allowed to rest and recover from injury. The workload of the heart (pumping blood) is never uncoupled from heart function. New approaches are needed.

The A-CURE Working Group was established in order to focus clinical, preclinical, and basic research efforts on how best to exploit emerging technologies and position them as therapies that maximize the ability of the heart to rest and recover after damage. The research of this group largely focuses on capitalizing on the hemodynamic and energetic benefits of acute cardiac unloading of the ventricle during and after a cardiac trauma. The group makes routine use of new percutaneous ventricular support devices such as the recently FDA approved Impella pump.

References Cited

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