Research update

General health

As leaders in the field of cardiac and respiratory care, clinicians at Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care are contributing to valuable research in a number of areas.

Alternative treatment option for sleep apnoea patients is being trialled.

Research which uses a neck device to treat a type of sleep apnoea has been given the green light thanks to funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through their Research for Patient Benefit grant.

The research, led by Dr Julia Kelly, a clinical research fellow at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, will determine whether the neck device can help patients with a Positional Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (POSA). Dr Kelly’s research project aims to see just how effective this device is in patients with POSA and whether it improves their quality of life; if it reduces disease severity in patients, if there is any difference in the treatment effect of the therapy between older and younger patients, and whether the therapy reduces daytime sleepiness and improves quality of life.

Trust recruits lion’s share of patients for national drug study

A clinical trial led by Professor Toby Maher, consultant respiratory physician, has managed to recruit more than half of the overall target of patients from Royal Brompton Hospital alone.

RECITAL, as the trial is known, is looking at patients who suffer from a range of connective tissue-associated interstitial lung diseases (CTD-ILD). The double-blind trial aims to determine which of two drugs is best for treating the condition.

The study aims to recruit 116 patients by August 2019 and so far, the Trust’s ILD research team have managed to recruit 60, making it the top recruiting site in the country.

New trial highlights need for lifelong medication for dilated cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy – a condition where the heart is enlarged and function is impaired usually due to a viral or genetic cause – is one of the leading causes of heart failure in the UK. It is the most common reason for people needing a heart transplant.

However, some patients will make a full recovery, showing no symptoms and having normal heart function. For those patients, a new study led by a team at Royal Brompton Hospital and Imperial College London has sought to find out whether these patients need to take medication even after they’ve recovered.

Commenting on the results published in The Lancet, Dr Brian Halliday, clinical research fellow, said: “Improvement in a patient’s ventricular function seems to represent remission rather than a permanent cure for many. Therefore, patients should stay on their medications.”

Dr Sanjay Prasad, consultant cardiologist and the trial’s principal investigator, said: “It was a team effort bringing together non-invasive cardiology, genetics, advanced imaging, research and development, patient groups and our colleagues in other hospitals. From the response, the study is already having an impact on how patients are managed.”


Professor Toby Maher

Consultant respiratory physician




Dr Sanjay Prasad

Consultant in cardiology and cardiovascular magnetic resonance