Heart Failure Research Department

Maria Sitnikova
Head of the Department for Heart Failure, PhD, Professor

In 2001 the Research Laboratory for heart failure pathogenesis and new approaches in treatment was established for the first time in the Northern West Federal District, and then in 2009 it has been transformed into a research department.

Department for Heart Failure includes:

  • Research Laboratory for Heart Failure
  • Research Laboratory for High-tech Treatment Methods

Research topics:

  • Prognosis in heart failure
  • Genetics in heart failure
  • High-tech methods in heart failure treatment: cardiac resynchronization therapy, left ventricle assist device, heart grafting, physical rehabilitation in chronic heart failure (CHF).

Bedside work

The results of Heart failure Department, a part of the Research Department for HF, are comparable with the experience of the leading European Heart failure centers and demonstrate 5- year survival as 67 — 75%. That survival rate is significantly higher than in European population (less than 50% at 5 years). Comprehensive treatment approach includes a combination of drug therapy, education in “School for CHF patients”, regular physician checkups and “active” telephone contacts, thus reducing the number of readmissions to a hospital and in proper time refer for high-tech treatment methods.


Cardiopulmonary testing

Within the Russian school of Cardiology and the National Project “Health” we created diverse educational program for physicians of Northwestern Federal District. Annually in April with the support of Almazov Federal Education Center we conduct the School for physicians “Contemporary Chronic Heart Failure Management”. For this course we invite specialists from different fields of cardiology, imaging diagnostics department.

Traditionally, in early May on behalf of the European Association of Heart Failure we carry out “Day of knowledge about the Heart failure”. On the lectures physicians from inpatient and outpatient departments of Saint-Petersburg could see patients with severe heart failure and discuss difficult cases including the indications for high-tech therapy and heart transplantation/
The Department for HF is involved in listing patients for heart transplantation. We closely follow-up patients before and after heart transplantation. Since 2010 we have screened more than 700 patients for heart transplantation. Almazov Federal Centre implanted 7 EXCOR systems with subsequent heart transplantation. 29 heart transplantations have been performed and the mean follow-up after transplantation is 3.5 years. Patients restored their physical activity, 50% of adult patients returned to work, children continue education in school. Heart transplantation waiting list is constantly updated. Patients are referred from the all parts of Russia, but predominantly from the Northern West Federal District.

Cardiopulmonary testing (ergospirometry) represents a graduated exercise test with the continuous ECG recording, monitoring of pulmonary ventilation, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide diffusion evaluation. Severity of respiratory and heart failure could be assessed during ergospirometry.