For Patients

What Is Ischemia of the Heart?

When a heart artery narrows, part of the heart may not receive enough blood to work normally. Doctors call this “ischemia.” The most common symptom of ischemia is chest pain (angina), but not everyone with ischemia has symptoms. Ischemia is associated with a higher risk of having a heart attack.

How Is Ischemia Treated?

Doctors use two standard ways to treat ischemia of the heart muscle.

  • One way (“medical therapy”) uses medicines and lifestyle changes to control symptoms and risk factors (such as smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol).
  • Another way uses an invasive procedure called cardiac catheterization to see your heart arteries, and either stents are put in the narrowed arteries to restore blood flow or surgery is done to bypass the narrowed arteries and increase blood flow to the heart muscle.  Medicines and lifestyle changes are also recommended to control risk factors.

Which Treatment For Ischemia Is Better and Safer?

Although both treatments—medical therapy alone and medical therapy plus a procedure—are commonly used worldwide, doctors do not know which of these treatments is better and safer to use when a patient’s stress test shows ischemia.

What Is a Clinical Trial?

A clinical trial is a research study with volunteers that is designed to discover which treatment improves results for patients. Clinical trials usually compare different treatments like medications, procedures, or devices.

What is the ISCHEMIA Study?

The ISCHEMIA study is a clinical trial that compares two standard treatments for patients with ischemia of the heart to learn which one is better and safer:

  • Starting treatment with medicines and lifestyle changes alone, with a plan to use cardiac procedures only if they are needed, or
  • Starting treatment with invasive cardiac procedures (cardiac catheterization), and then stent placement or bypass surgery along with medicines and lifestyle changes

 

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding this clinical trial, which will include thousands of participants with ischemia. 

The results may have a lasting impact on the way patients with ischemia are treated.

If you are a patient and would like to learn more about the ISCHEMIA study, please e-mail ischemia@nyulangone.org

Privacy Notice:

The ISCHEMIA Clinical Coordinating Center and its identified local representatives plan to collect and use your personal and health information once, and only in the specific ways, you have granted us permission to do in the informed consent (e.g., by giving us your formal, written consent).

New York University Langone Health and Northwick Park Hospital at the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust will serve jointly as the data controllers for purposes of this research. We will collect personal data both directly from you, and also from searches of publicly accessible databases where you have already provided consent (e.g., medical record searches in select hospitals, requests to NHS Digital). All personal data is being collected as part of a research study that aims to provide a public benefit. Anonymized, safeguarded data will be shared with the National Institutes of Health in the United States, as is a required element of this research. Because all data is completely anonymized, we do not expect your participation to impact your individual privacy in any way.

Research subjects are entitled to withdraw consent at any time. However, in accordance with Human Research Authority, anonymized data already collected may still be used for study-related purposes.

If you have any questions regarding your personal data, or if/how your data is used, please contact ischemia@nyulangone.org.