January 21, 2019 0 comments

Holding onto Hope Thanks to Research

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry was living a very busy life juggling a full-time university degree, a physical job and spending time with family, when he suddenly experienced severe chest pain and was rushed to hospital.

What he thought was a heart attack, to his surprise was diagnosed as Coronary Slow Flow Phenomenon (CSFP), a condition he’d never heard of and isn’t well-known to doctors.

“I was at Uni when suddenly I felt like there was an elephant standing on my chest. Next thing I knew
I was experiencing severe chest pain and in hospital,” Stephen said.

“I had an angiogram and was diagnosed with CSFP. From then on everything changed. I had my duties modified at work which was hard for me because I am a very physical person.

“From having good health all my life to being diagnosed with CSFP; I’ve had my whole lifestyle taken away from me.”

What is Coronary Slow Flow Phenomenon?

CSFP is caused by a spasm (clamp down) of the microscopic blood vessels which travel throughout the heart muscle. When these vessels clamp down it resists the flow of blood and ‘slows’ blood flow through the heart.

This means the heart is not receiving oxygen quickly enough and cannot work efficiently, leading to chest pain and angina, experienced by Stephen.

World-Class Clinical Trial Brings Hope

Stephen lives in hope he can resume his active lifestyle thanks to two clinical trials underway by world-leading cardiologist Professor John Beltrame, who was instrumental in first characterising CSFP.

Prof Beltrame is supported by Dr Sivabaskari Pasupathy from the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research in the pioneering research.

“We are working to find a medical strategy to help these patients relieve their symptoms. In the past we’ve tried numerous drugs as well as exercise therapy which have had limited benefit, therefore the search continues,” Dr Pasupathy said.

“We are hoping the new drugs will lead to better blood flow to the heart muscle and reduce chest pain; we are also hoping one can reduce the angina episodes in these patients.”

Your support can help Prof Beltrame and Dr Pasupathy continue their groundbreaking research to improve the lives of people like Stephen.

“CSFP has affected every aspect of my life and I’m hoping this trial is successful so I can resume my normal physical life,” Stephen said.

Australian Heart Research (AHR) is proud to have supported Prof Beltrame in the past with his research into CSFP, but more work needs to be done. You can support the current work underway to improve the lives of those living with this debilitating condition by donating today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *