Clinical Trials

As South Carolina’s only medical research and training institution, MUSC Health’s mission includes discovering new heart and vascular treatments. National clinical trials offer the latest therapies by translating basic scientific research into treatments that benefit patients immediately.

Today, the MUSC Health Heart & Vascular Center is enrolling people in more than 50 clinical trials. These studies offer access to cardiac devices and medications that aren’t available elsewhere. They may provide options where none currently exist.

Why Choose MUSC Health for a Clinical Trial?

Our innovation and clinical research continue to expand treatment options for heart and vascular disease, providing more patients with more lifesaving options. You can trust MUSC Health’s clinical trials program for:

  • History of accomplishment: Our doctors were part of the original studies that led to the approval of the MitraClip™ device for mitral valve regurgitation.
  • Innovation: Trials provide access to all types of treatments that aren’t available everywhere. You may be able to try a new drug for high blood pressure or a minimally invasive heart procedure that speeds recovery time. Trials can also include devices that improves your quality of life by supporting your heart function. As part of a trial, MUSC Health offered transaortic valve replacement (TAVR) to low-risk patients when other facilities could not. See our heart valve surgery.
  • International reputation: Respected doctors and institutions worldwide trust our experts to conduct ethical, thoroughly tested research. Our cardiology faculty members (doctors in our Heart & Vascular Center) publish dozens of peer-reviewed articles each year.
  • Rigorous ethical standards: Our Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversees all medical research at MUSC Health. The IRB follows strict federal regulations to protect patients’ safety.

Our Current Heart and Vascular Studies

Our cardiologists, heart surgeons and vascular specialists are helping to develop new heart treatments through trials studying:

  • Heart failure: Seven MUSC Health scientists have labs focusing on heart failure. They are pursuing novel therapies for heart attacks and ways to treat heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF, where your heart pumps out enough blood, but you still have heart failure). With HFpEF, many standard heart failure medications don’t help.
  • Heart valve surgery: Building on their history of testing the MitraClip, our heart surgeons are studying new valve repair and replacement opportunities. Their work focuses on additional means of managing aortic and mitral valve problems with a transcatheter (minimally invasive) approach.
  • Electrophysiology: Interventional cardiologists — the electricians of the heart — are working on clinical trials for ventricular (VT) ablation. VT ablation corrects irregular heartbeat in the lower chambers of the heart. These doctors are also studying a new device for left atrial appendage occlusion. Read more about our Arrhythmia Center.
  • Cardiovascular genetics: Our world-renowned cardiac geneticists take part in international clinical trials for new therapies for certain genetic conditions, including cardiac amyloidosis. Learn more about cardiovascular genetics.
  • Plaques in the heart: Certain heart diseases involve plaques (protein buildup) in the heart, similar to those found on the brain with dementias like Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors within the Heart & Brain Program are leading a global team to find ways to keep these plaques from affecting heart and brain function.

How to Join a Clinical Trial

Participation in clinical trials is always voluntary. You will never be enrolled in a trial without your full understanding and consent. Your doctor can explain the opportunities and risks and answer your questions. Learn more about MUSC’s research and clinical trials.