COVID-19 Heart: We have all the gear but no idea

We have plenty of sophisticated gear to understand heart problems. For COVID-19, we’ve seen Troponin blood tests, cardiac MRIs and echo. For example, cardiac injury was associated with a higher risk of death in hospitalized patients. And yet, we have no answers to the questions that matter for clinical practice.

New drugs for Heart Failure: “My cup runneth over”

The therapy of patients with Heart Failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) has evolved over the past several decades. Beta blockers; ACEIs, ARBs or sacubutril/valsartan; along with a MRA; a loop diuretic; and hydralazine/ISDN (in African Americans) form the basis of current guideline recommended therapy. Despite their use, even when appropriately dosed at target levels, there remains a considerable incidence of hospitalizations for Heart Failure (HHF) and cardiovascular mortality (CVM) as well as compromised quality of life and increased health care costs.

Data Safety Monitoring Boards for Dummies

To get my children to finish their broccoli, I tell them that I experiment on people. That is not far from the truth, as I design and run clinical trials for a pharmaceutical company. To develop new medicines, we need to understand how they work and how they may cause trouble. There are many steps in this process, the last of which is testing these medicines in people as part of a clinical trial. This is not an entirely benign proposition for potential subjects. More often than not, new medicines tested in clinical trials are not effective in treating the disease. Worse yet, they may not be sufficiently safe compared to currently approved medicines—if any.