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Sharp Health News

Advancing heart care through research

Aug. 24, 2021

Sharp Chula Vista participates in Boston Scientific’s CHAMPION-AF clinical trial

Cardiovascular team members at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center use advanced technology, personalized treatments and clinical research to deliver exceptional heart care for patients in the South Bay.

Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center is one of only two San Diego County hospitals to participate in Boston Scientific's CHAMPION-AF clinical trial. The trial will study the Watchman FLX left atrial appendage closure device as a first choice stroke risk-reduction therapy for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AFib).

"We're excited to have been selected to offer this clinical trial to patients," says Dr. Mehran Moussavian, an interventional cardiologist affiliated with Sharp Chula Vista. "The Watchman device is an important component of managing patients with atrial fibrillation to reduce their risk of stroke and embolism. This trial may provide pivotal information regarding the efficacy and safety of a Watchman implant as initial therapy versus long-term medical therapy with blood thinners in patients with atrial fibrillation. Participation in this trial may help us better answer this clinically important question."

Dr. Moussavian and Dr. Matthew Pugh will enroll patients locally.

The trial will study the Watchman FLX device as a first choice option as opposed to blood thinner medication to help lower the risk of ischemic stroke and systemic embolism caused by AFib.

Currently, Watchman FLX is an FDA-approved device alternative for patients unable to tolerate long-term blood thinner medication. Approximately 2.7 million Americans live with AFib, and many of them take blood thinners to reduce their risk of stroke. However, some patients are unable to tolerate medication, while others don't want to have to take medication for the rest of their lives. The Watchman device is an alternative for some patients.

Study participants will be evaluated at intervals up to 60 months after receiving the Watchman implant. Sharp Chula Vista has performed more than 300 Watchman procedures since April 2015; the Watchman procedure is currently performed at Sharp Chula Vista, Sharp Memorial Hospital and Sharp Grossmont Hospital.

"Clinical trials are an important part of the care we offer to patients at Sharp HealthCare," says Joe Lo Duca, vice president of cardiovascular services. "Significant advances in heart care have been discovered through research, and we are excited to bring the latest treatment options to you right here in San Diego."

Read more about clinical research at Sharp.

For the news media: To speak with Dr. Moussavian for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

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