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Heart Failure

Heart failure happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood for the body.

Programs + Services


Clinical Nutrition

The Division of Clinical Nutrition at Tufts Medical Center provides inpatient and outpatient nutritional services.
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Heart Failure + Cardiac Transplant Center

Learn about Tufts Medical Center's Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Center, a leader in VAD implementation and one of the top 10 programs in the country for heart transplant volume. Request an appointment with one of our specialists today.
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Women's Heart Center

Discover The Women’s Heart Clinic at Tufts Medical Center and learn more about the cardiologists dedicated to providing women with the best heart care.
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Doctors + Care Team

Marvin A. Konstam, MD

Marvin A. Konstam, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Chief Physician Executive, The CardioVascular Center; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-6293
Fax #: 617-636-7667

Heart failure, cardiac transplant

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James E. Udelson, MD

James E. Udelson, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Chief, Division of Cardiology; Director, Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8066
Fax #: 617-636-7175

Cardiac imaging, heart failure

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Alan T. Kono, MD

Alan T. Kono, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Cardiologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8068
Fax #: 617-636-6030

Heart failure

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Amanda Vest, MBBS, MPH

Amanda Vest, MBBS, MPH

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Medical Director, Cardiac Transplantation Program; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8068
Fax #: 617-636-6030

Cardiology, heart failure, heart transplantation, mechanical circulatory support

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Ayan R. Patel, MD

Ayan R. Patel, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Director, Cardiovascular Imaging and Hemodynamic Laboratory; Director, Women's Heart Center; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-2273
Fax #: 617-636-8070

Echocardiography, heart failure, women's heart disease

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Daniel Levine, MD

Daniel Levine, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Cardiologist
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8068
Fax #: 617-636-6030

Heart failure, coronary artery disease

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David DeNofrio, MD

David DeNofrio, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Director, Advanced Heart Failure Program; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8068
Fax #: 617-636-6030

Heart failure, cardiac transplantation

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David M. Venesy, MD

David M. Venesy, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Cardiologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8068
Fax #: 617-636-7175

Heart failure

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Frederick  Y. Chen, MD, PhD

Frederick Y. Chen, MD, PhD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Chief, Cardiac Surgery; Professor of Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, CardioVascular Center, Cardiac Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5590
Fax #: 617-636-6410

Surgical treatment of acquired heart disease, surgical repair of valvular heart disease, minimally invasive surgery, arrhythmia surgery, heart transplantation, circulatory assist devices, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

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Hassan Rastegar, MD

Hassan Rastegar, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Senior Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, CardioVascular Center, Cardiac Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5590
Fax #: 617-636-6410

Surgical treatment of acquired heart disease, surgical repair of valvular heart disease, surgical repair of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, minimally invasive surgery, arrhythmia surgery, heart transplantation, circulatory assist devices

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Kenneth G. Warner, MD

Kenneth G. Warner, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Senior Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Program Director for the Thoracic Surgery Residency; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, CardioVascular Center, Cardiac Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5590
Fax #: 617-636-6410

Surgical management of adult and pediatric heart disease, heart transplantation

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Masashi Kawabori, MD

Masashi Kawabori, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Cardiothoracic Surgeon; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Surgery, CardioVascular Center, Cardiac Surgery, Surgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5590
Fax #: 617-636-6410

Heart transplantation, mechanic circulatory support, adult general cardiac surgery

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Michael S. Kiernan, MD, MS

Michael S. Kiernan, MD, MS

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Director, Ventricular Assist Device Program; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8068
Fax #: 617-636-6030

Heart failure, cardiac transplantation, ventricular assist devices

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Navin K. Kapur, MD, FAHA, FACC, FSCAI

Navin K. Kapur, MD, FAHA, FACC, FSCAI

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Executive Director, The CardioVascular Center for Research and Innovation (CVCRI); Director, Acute Mechanical Circulatory Support Program; Director, Interventional Research Laboratories; Director of Cardiac Biology Research Center, Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI); Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8252
Fax #: 617-636-5913

Interventional cardiology, advanced heart failure, mechanical circulatory support

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Nicole M Orr, MD, FACC

Nicole M Orr, MD, FACC

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Cardiologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone:
Fax #:

Geriatric cardiology, echocardiography

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Robb Kociol, MD

Robb Kociol, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Cardiologist
Department(s): Medicine, CardioVascular Center, Cardiology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8068
Fax #: 617-636-6030

Advanced heart failure, cardiac transplant, mechanical circulation support

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Research + Clinical Trials


A Randomized Parallel-Group, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Event-Driven, Multi-Center Pivotal Phase III Clinical Outcome Trial of Efficacy and Safety of the Oral sGC Stimulator Vericiguat in Subjects With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction (HFrEF) - VerICiguaT Global Study in Subjects With Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction (VICTORIA)

This is a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multi-center, double-blind, event driven study of vericiguat (MK-1242) in participants with heart failure reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). The primary hypothesis is vericiguat (MK-1242) is superior to placebo in increasing the time to first occurrence of the composite of cardiovascular (CV) death or heart failure (HF) hospitalization in participants with HFrEF.
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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement to UNload the Left ventricle in patients with ADvanced heart failure: a randomized trial  (TAVR UNLOAD)

The TAVR UNLOAD trial is an international, multi-center, randomized, open-label, clinical trial comparing the safety and efficacy of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) with the SAPIEN 3 Valve and optimized heart failure therapy ( OHFT ) versus OHFT in heart failure (HF) patients, with moderate aortic stenosis ( AS). OHFT is defined as guideline-directed medical therapy. It can be medication only or a combination of medical therapy and approved HF devices.

Clinical efficacy of TAVR is assessed after 1 year of follow-up in all 600 patients. All patients are followed for 2 years to evaluate the value of the study device in to treat patients with Heart Failure (HF) who have moderate aortic stenosis (AS). The Edwards SAPIEN 3 Valve has already been approved by the FDA for use in patients who require an aortic valve replacement due to severe aortic stenosis


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How Does Body Composition Change after Placement of a Left Ventricular Assist Device in Advanced Systolic Heart Failure?

Many patients with advanced heart failure describe loss of muscle mass and strength in their arms and legs. This process is known as ‘sarcopenia’ and has not been well studied in heart failure. In particular it is unknown whether the sarcopenia process can reverse after a heart failure patient receives a left ventricular assist device (LVAD, a surgically implanted heart pumpt). Therefore we are partnering with experts in nutrition and body composition at Tufts University to study changes in muscle mass, physical activity, food intake and metabolism in patients receiving an LVAD. Muscle mass is measured by two methods in the study, to help us determine which is the most accurate in heart failure patients: a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan and a non-radioactive isotope dilution technique. There are 3 study visits which each take a maximum of 4 hours, performed around the time of LVAD implant (30 days before to 21 days after), and at 3 months and 6 months after LVAD implantation.
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Non-Invasive Measurement of Capillary Oxygenation during Exercise in Ambulatory Advanced Heart Failure Patients

At Tufts Medical Center, we are continually evaluating different approaches to monitor and improve the care of our patients with advanced systolic heart failure. We are currently partnering with a company that has developed a non-invasive probe that measures capillary oxygenation through the skin. The probe attaches to the skin with a temporary adhesive and records the amount of oxygen in the blood cells passing through the skin. This technology may help us to detect when patients with abnormal heart pumping function (heart failure) are not circulating enough blood to their body. We have designed a study using this non-invasive probe to measure capillary oxygenation during exercise stress tests in patients with systolic heart failure and without systolic heart failure. Both groups of patients will have already been scheduled to undergo a treadmill exercise tests for standard clinical indications at Tufts Medical Center. We attach the adhesive probe to the skin on the base of the thumb and on the forearm during the exercise test. Study participation ends at the conclusion of the stress test, and the adhesive probe is removed. We hope to identify the differences between blood supply to the skin during exercise in patients with normal heart function versus those with systolic heart failure.
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Accuracy of echocardiographic estimation of atrial pressure: A prospective, observational study

The purpose of this study is to determine how accurate transthoracic echocardiogram (echo) is at estimating the pressures within your heart, as compared to the most accurate test of right heart catheterization (RHC, also called "Swan" catheter). Echo is a test that uses ultrasound to get pictures of your heart through an ultrasound probe that is placed on your chest or upper abdomen. RHC is a procedure where a catheter is inserted into your heart through a large vein (in your neck or groin), and the pressures within your heart are measured directly. This study will show us if echo measurements can be used reliability in patients in the future without having to do invasive catheterization. Patients undergoing both echo and RHC, as determined by their doctor, while in the hospital as part of standard medical care will be enrolled in this study. There is no additional testing that will be done as part of this study. 
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A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Phase 2 Study Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of Different Doses of IW-1973 over 12 Weeks in Patients with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (CAPACITY HFpEF)

This study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of 3 doses of IW-1973 compared with placebo, a drug that looks like the study drug but has none of the active ingredients. During the study participants will be asked to take the drug daily for about 12 weeks, 2 weeks of taking the drug twice-daily followed by 10 weeks of taking the drug once-daily. At the Day 1 Visit, patients will spend about 2 hours going through study required assessments to help determine if they qualify for the study. Once those assessments are finished patients will be randomized, randomly assigned to one of the groups: 10mg study drug, 20mg study drug, 40mg study drug, or placebo daily. After Visit 1 participants will be asked to return to the clinical at Week 4, Week 8, and End of Treatment for study drug administration; safety efficacy, and a few additional assessments; and to receive additional study drug and other supplies, as applicable. Patients will return to the clinic 28 days (day 113+/-7) after their last study drug dose for the final Follow-up Visit. 
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Characterizing HIV-related Diastolic Dysfunction

This is a multicenter clinical trial of a cross section of HIV+ patients with and without diastolic dysfunction. Approximately 200 HAART-treated virally suppressed HIV+ subjects (100 HIV+/DD+ & 100 HIV+/DD-) will be enrolled. Currently only accepted patients who have HIV and Diastolic Dysfunction. This study will evaluate biomarkers, phenomapping, metabolomics, cMRI, and echocardiography to determined characteristics unique to this patient population.
More information about research and clinical trials

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