Research for preventing heart bypass graft blockages given funding boost

21 September 2012

Researchers in the UK who are studying how to reduce blockages in heart bypass grafts following surgery have been given a boost.

National health charity Heart Research UK has awarded scientists from the Bristol Heart Institute at the University of Bristol funding worth more than £130,000.

The cash is set to be used in order to delve further into the study of whether future failure of coronary artery vein grafts can be prevented.

Such research has been delved into as sections of leg vein are commonly used during heart bypass surgery to prevent blocked coronary arteries from developing. On top of this, the procedure is seen to enhance blood supply to a damaged heart.

The problem with this method is that these vein grafts are known to narrow in the months and years after surgery, commonly failing just like the original arteries did.

However, Sarah George, professor in cardio-vascular signalling at the Bristol Heart Institute, noted: "The overall aim [of the research] is to stop blockages happening using gene therapy and we hope it might also be applied to other diseases as well."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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