Current Research Projects

Contemporary Treatment of Stent Thrombosis
Queen Emma Research Fund
Principle Investigator: Dr. Christian Spies

The treatment and subsequent outcomes of patients with stent thrombosis resulting in acute coronary syndromes (ACS) is not well described. Available data suggests that the majority of patients present with ST-elevation myocardial infarction. Limited, contemporary case series describe the use of drug-eluting stents in patients who present with late stent thrombosis. However, clinical characteristics, treatment strategy, resistance to anti-platelet therapy and medium and long term outcomes in this unique group of patients remain unclear. This registry will examine the presentation, treatment, outcomes, and prevalence of anti-platelet therapy, as well as resistance to anti-platelet therapy, in patients who present with ACS due to stent thrombosis.

Heart Failure Disparities
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute  
Principle Investigator: Dr. Todd Seto

Performed as a partnership with the University of Hawaii’s Center for Native and Pacific Heal Disparities Research, this grant includes four independent projects that aim to understand and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in heart failure. The Malama Puuwai study, under the lead of Dr. Marjorie Mau, is a randomized controlled clinical trial evaluating the impact of a culturally appropriate outpatient education program on heart failure outcomes. A hand-carried ultrasound study, tests the feasibility of training healthcare workers in community health centers to perform screening ultrasound to assess left ventricular function. Racial and ethnic differences in the causes of heart failure, particularly crystal methamphetamine-associated cardiomyopathy, are being studied in a retrospective study of hospitalized patients. We are also developing pedigrees of families with probable heritable cardiomyopathy in anticipation of a larger study evaluating the genetics of dilated cardiomyopathy.

Tai Chi and Obesity
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Principle Investigator: Dr. Todd Seto

In this pilot study, we are enrolling patients with severe obesity (BMI > 35) to a Tai Chi program designed to improve physical functioning and health-related quality of life or a time-matched control. Endpoints of this study include physiologic (six-minute walk test, heart rate variability), quality-of-life (SF-36, IQWOL-Lite), and laboratory endpoints (insulin resistance, leptin).

Hula Empowering Lifestyle Adaptations
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Principle Investigator: Dr. Todd Seto

With limited availability of formal phase-two cardiac rehabilitation programs in Hawaii, this randomized control trial evaluates the impact of a hula-based program on patients with a recent cardiovascular event (cardiac surgery, myocardial infarction). Designed and performed in partnership with investigators at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine’s Department of Native Hawaiian Health, the primary endpoint of this study is peak oxygen consumption measured during treadmill testing.

Crystal Methamphetamine-Associated Cardiomyopathy and Cardiac MR
Hawaii Community Foundation
Principle Investigator: Dr. Todd Seto

This pilot study, performed in collaboration with the University of Hawaii School of Medicine’s MR Research Center, aims to provide insight into the structural and metabolic abnormalities associated with crystal methamphetamine-associated cardiomyopathy, compared with patients with ischemic cardiomypathy and normal control population.

Native Hawaiian Cardiomyopathy Study
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Principle Investigator: Dr. Todd Seto

Recognizing the missteps that have occurred when scientists have attempted to perform genetic research involving Native Hawaiians, this qualitative study includes individual and group discussions with families that have been affected by dilated cardiomyopathy, in order to better understand their attitudes and beliefs about the role of cardiograph-based screening programs to detect systolic dysfunction and the use of genetic research. With support through the University of Hawaii's Center for Native and Pacific Health Disparities, this project also includes collaborators from the University of Washington's Department of Bioethics and Humanities.