The unmet need for addressing cardiac issues in intensive care research.
OBJECTIVE: Patients with primary cardiovascular disorders and comorbidities are commonly admitted to ICUs; however, little is known about the current state of cardiac research being conducted in these adult ICU patients. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis. PATIENTS OR SUBJECTS: None. SETTING: In separate searches of ongoing phase II-IV clinical trials registered with ClinicalTrials.gov and funding grants available in the Canadian Institutes for Health Research funding decision database between 1999 and 2012, we identified all research initiatives focused on adult ICU patients. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The primary outcome of interest was the proportion of cardiac-specific ICU studies, defined as any involving a cardiac population with a cardiac intervention (or observation for observational analyses) and/or a cardiac outcome. A total of 192 unique studies including adult ICU patients were identified from the ClinicalTrials.gov database. These were most commonly classified as respiratory or ventilation (19%), infectious (14.1%), or neurologic (12.0%) in focus. A total of 105 grants were identified in the Canadian Institutes for Health Research database. Funded studies most commonly addressed respiratory or ventilator questions (18.1%), infectious disease issues (12.4%), or hematological/thrombosis questions (9.5%). Only 4.6% of all ICU studies in ClinicalTrials.gov and 1.9% of all Canadian Institutes for Health Research grants could be considered cardiac. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the relative paucity of cardiac-specific research in the intensive care setting relative to the high prevalence of acute cardiac diseases and comorbidities. This observed disparity warrants timely attention and should lead to meaningful research opportunities aimed at improving the outcomes of critically ill cardiac patients.
van Diepen, S; Granger, CB; Jacka, M; Gilchrist, IC; Morrow, DA; Katz, JN
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