Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick • Somerset

Elective Angioplasty Study Extended

March 11, 2011
Somerset Medical Center will continue to perform elective coronary angioplasties through December 2012 as part of The Atlantic C-PORT Elective Angioplasty Study. New Jersey’s Health Care Administration Board has approved allowing 11 community hospitals, including Somerset Medical Center, to continue participation in the multi-state clinical trial, which seeks to determine whether elective angioplasties can be performed safely and effectively at community hospitals that do not have onsite cardiac surgery services.

Somerset Medical Center performed its first elective coronary angioplasty on June 27, 2006 as part of the study and has performed 503 procedures to date. 

The C-PORT study was set to conclude in April, but cardiologist and principal investigator Dr. Thomas Aversano of Johns Hopkins University requested an extension from the Health Care Administration Board so that more patients could participate in the study.

“We are pleased to be able to continue this important study and gather more data about patient outcomes that may help influence future health care policies,” said Sharan Mahal, MD, director of interventional cardiology at Somerset Medical Center and a principal investigator of the study at the hospital. 

Many states, including New Jersey, only allow hospitals with cardiac surgery programs to perform angioplasties on an elective, or non-emergency, basis.

“If this study shows that elective angioplasty patients have similar outcomes at a community hospital as those who had the procedure at a cardiac surgery center, then it may bring about regulatory changes that could make this procedure more widely available,” Dr. Mahal said. 

Patients who are diagnosed with blocked coronary arteries through routine cardiac catheterizations and whose doctors recommend angioplasty treatment are eligible to participate in the C-PORT study. 

Participation is voluntary. Patients receive an information packet explaining the study, including risks associated with elective angioplasty and must sign a consent form giving permission to enroll in the clinical trial.

Eligible candidates are randomly assigned to undergo elective angioplasty at Somerset Medical Center or be transferred to another hospital that also performs cardiac surgery. Three out of four patients will have their angioplasties at Somerset Medical Center. Those patients will be contacted four times throughout the following nine months to gather information about their health as part of the research study.

There are no additional costs to patients who enroll in the clinical trial. Participants receive no compensation and they may leave the study at any time.

“Our staff have been very excited to participate in the C-PORT study,” said Leon Jarvis, nurse manager of Somerset Medical Center’s cardiac catheterization laboratory. “We’ve grown into one of the busiest cardiac catheterization laboratories in the state, making us one of the most experienced in the Central New Jersey region.”

In addition to coronary angioplasties, Somerset Medical Center’s cardiac catheterization laboratory performs peripheral angioplasties, pacemaker implantations, intra-aortic balloon pump placements and right-heart catheterizations. The medical center’s cardiology services also include a full range of tests to detect heart disease in children and adults, including electrocardiograms, cardiac holter monitoring, stress tests and cardiac ultrasounds, and a three-stage cardiac rehabilitation program. The medical center was recently recognized by the Joint Commission with its Gold Seal of Approval for its treatment of acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks).

For more information about cardiology services at Somerset Medical Center, visit somersetmedicalcenter.com/heart. To find a cardiologist, visit somersetmedicalcenter.com/doctor or call 800-443-4605.