Board Certified in Neurology and Stroke
MD, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Researches treatments to prevent stroke caused by the narrowing of brain arteries.
Dr. Chimowitz’s field of research is especially relevant in South Carolina, which has the nation’s second-highest mortality rate from stroke. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Stenosis, a blockage or narrowing of a brain artery caused by the build up of plaque, accounts for more than 50,000 of the 795,000 strokes that occur annually nationwide. Stenosis is particularly common in African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and people with diabetes.
Dr. Chimowitz has led 3 large consecutive NIH/NINDSˇfunded multicenter clinical studies over the past 16 years: the Warfarin Aspirin Symptomatic Intracranial Disease (WASID) Trial, the NIH Wingspan Intracranial Stent Registry, and the Stenting and Aggressive Medical Management for Preventing Recurrent stroke in Intracranial Stenosis (SAMMPRIS) Trial. These trials have led to new standards of treatment for atherosclerotic intracranial arterial stenosis worldwide. For the SAMMPRIS trial, Dr. Chimowitz received funding from the National Institutes of Health for a $20 million, 50-center nationwide clinical trial, which he led from the Medical University of South Carolina. The study, which was supported by one of the largest extramural research grants in South Carolina history, showed that aggressive medical management alone is superior to aggressive medical management combined with a specific type of brain stent for patients at high risk for stroke. Dr. Chimowitz and the team of investigators published the results from the Stenting vs. Aggressive Medical Management for Preventing Recurrent Stroke in Intracranial Stenosis (SAMMPRIS) trial in The New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet.
The excellent outcomes of patients treated with aggressive medical management in the SAMMPRIS trial led to a successful NINDS application to compare carotid endarterectomy or stenting vs. the SAMMPRIS aggressive medical management regimen in 2480 patients with asymptomatic extracranial carotid stenosis. This new trial (CREST 2) will be performed at 120 sites in the United States and Canada over the next 7 years and Dr. Chimowitz will be co-directing the Medical Management Coordinating Center for the trial, which located at MUSC.
In recognition of his research, Dr. Chimowitz received the American Heart Association’s William Feinberg Award for Excellence in Clinical Stroke Research in 2013.