Pepin Heart Institute at Florida Hospital Tampa Receives Grant from U.S. Department of Defense

Grant Funds Hi-Tech Imaging for Heart Patients to Help Detect Future Adverse Coronary Events

TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Investigators at the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Research Institute at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute received a $700,000 grant from the U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center to use infrared technology during cardiac catheterizations which will enable them (or help them anticipate) to anticipate adverse coronary events, such as heart attacks or unstable chest pain, that could happen to a stable heart patient several years in the future.

The purpose of the research is to apply near-infrared spectroscopy during cardiac catheterization and look deep into the coronary arterial wall to identify hidden pools of lipids, or fats, that can suddenly cause a heart attack months or years in the future. Currently, hidden fats in artery walls cannot accurately be detected by conventional techniques such as angiography, ultrasound, CT imaging or MRI.

“There is solid evidence that the presence of these lipid pools is a major risk factor for stable patients to become suddenly unstable with chest pain and heart attacks,” said Dr. Charles Lambert, medical director of the Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute. Dr. Lambert is also the principal investigator who will lead the hospital’s team of physicians, nurses and researchers over the next several years and beyond to study the use of this new technology with patients.

“We are excited because it’s going to be a compelling study that should help the U.S. Department of Defense predict cardiac events during high stress periods like combat, and even for astronauts involved in prolonged space travel,” said Dr. Lambert. “Military scientists are interested in trying to predict individual cardiac health and risk in the years ahead and we are very pleased to join their effort here at the Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute.”

Dr. Lambert and his team plan to enroll 230 patients in the study who are undergoing cardiac catheterization; the study will use the near-infrared spectroscopy investigative technique and follow the patients closely for years. The $700,000 grant allows the Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute to purchase hi-tech infrared equipment while training physicians and cardiac catheterization teams about the new investigative technique, in addition to establishing an image database to share with the U.S. Army and other investigators.

About Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute and Dr. Kiran C. Patel Research Institute

Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute is the Southeast’s first all-digital cardiovascular specialty hospital. The freestanding heart hospital provides comprehensive cardiovascular care utilizing the latest advancements in technology, techniques and a revolutionary patient-centered healing environment while providing over 76,000 angioplasty procedures and 11,000 open heart surgeries in the region since 2006. Leading the way with the first accredited Chest Pain Emergency Room in the Tampa Bay area, the hospital is staffed with a team of experts who are trained in cardiovascular emergencies. The Dr. Kiran C. Patel Research Institute is exploring and conducting leading-edge research to develop break-through treatments long before they are available in most other hospitals. To learn more, please visit or call 813-615-7201.

About Florida Hospital Tampa Bay Division

The Florida Hospital Tampa Bay Division is a not-for-profit 1,003-bed hospital system composed of Florida Hospital Tampa, Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute, Florida Hospital Carrollwood, Florida Hospital at Connerton Long Term Acute Care, Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel (opens 2012) and Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital. Part of the Adventist Health System, Florida Hospital is a leading network comprised of 22 hospitals throughout the state. For more information, visit


Florida Hospital Tampa
Will Darnall, 813-615-7395
Public Relations
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INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Biotechnology  Cardiology  Hospitals  Research  Science