Women's Cardiovascular Disease Research

The Christ Hospital Health Network is a recognized leader in clinical research. Our strong emphasis on cardiovascular disease in women gives patients access to the most effective and cutting-edge treatment options.

Odayme Quesada, MD, an expert in women's cardiovascular disease, leads our research team. Dr. Quesada is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to pursue landmark research on women's cardiac health and disease at The Christ Hospital's Carl and Edyth Lindner Research Center.

The research team focuses on cardiac diseases that predominantly affect women, including: 

  • Ischemia with no obstructive coronary artery disease (INOCA)

  • Coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD)

  • Coronary vasospasm

  • Myocardial infarction with no obstructive coronary artery disease (MINOCA)

  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)

  • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (broken heart syndrome)

  • Link of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and cardiovascular disease

Current Studies

Many studies at The Lindner Research Center are actively enrolling participants for research studies in women's heart disease. These include:

Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy: Pathways to Future Cardiovascular Disease

If you have had a pregnancy in the last 10 years and were diagnosed with preeclampsia during your pregnancy, you may qualify for a study on the effects of preeclampsia on heart structure and function. We also are seeking women who had healthy pregnancies to serve as the comparison group to help us better understand the differences between normal pregnancies and those complicated by preeclampsia. 

To see if you are qualify, take this free online risk assessment

View this flyer for additional study details, including compensation.

Women's Ischemia Trial to Reduce Events in Non-Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease (WARRIOR)

We are seeking women with ischemia (angina or equivalent symptoms) who have been told they have non-obstructed coronary arteries based on a coronary angiogram or coronary CT angiogram within the past five years. Ischemia but no obstructive coronary artery disease (INOCA) is more common in women than it is in men. The WARRIOR study seeks to determine if intensive medical therapy can reduce major adverse cardiovascular events and increase quality of life in these women. To see if you qualify or to learn more about the study, view the flyer.

The Freedom Trial

The Freedom Trial is for patients with ischemia and non-obstructed coronary arteries (INOCA) and frequent chest pain who are unable to tolerate medications or have chest pain despite medications. The Freedom Trial seeks to determine if using a person's own cells can improve the function of the microvascular system of the heart (small coronary arteries) and reduce angina.

HARP (Heart Attack Research Program)

The purpose of the HARP study is to find out what causes heart damage in people with open arteries (arteries that are less than 50% blocked). The HARP study is for patients with MINOCA – myocardial infarction with no obstructive coronary artery disease. Participants include adults who present with symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath and evidence of heart damage, and who’s doctor has ordered a coronary angiogram (also called a cardiac catheterization, or cath). Study participants receive optical coherence tomography (OCT) during the angiogram. OCT uses light to take pictures of the inside of the arteries. Participants with less than 50% blockage in their arteries will also have an MRI of their heart and be asked to complete questionnaires about stress and provide a blood sample for the biorepository as well as follow-up phone calls every 6 months until the end of the study. The HARP study is sponsored by the American Heart Association.

Research Registries


Women's Heart Center Registry

All women cared for at The Christ Hospital Women's Heart Center are asked to be part of this registry, which collects data to better understand cardiovascular diseases more commonly seen in women.

Options in Myocardial Ischemia Syndrome Therapy Long-term Follow-Up Database (OPTIMIST) Registry

This registry aims to better understand patients with refractory angina reluctant to medical therapy.

 To determine if you might be a candidate for a research study or registry: