Research at the Clinical Center

Published Clinical Research Conducted at the Clinical Center

The NIH Clinical Center is the world’s largest hospital entirely devoted to clinical research. It is a national resource that makes it possible to rapidly translate scientific observations and laboratory discoveries into new approaches for diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease.

Over 1,600 clinical research studies are conducted at the NIH Clinical Center, including those focused on cancer, infectious diseases, blood disorders, heart disease, lung disease, alcoholism and drug abuse.

Here is a sample of abstracts from the clinical research conducted at the NIH Clinical Center and published in a peer reviewed medical journal this year. Links to the full text and video formats are provided if available.


Native doing ritual

Training Paradigms in Critical Care Cardiology: A Scoping Review of Current Literature

Published in: JACC: Advances (January 2024)

This study explores the evolving landscape of critical care cardiology (CCC) training, noting an unmet need to further integrate critical care medicine training into cardiovascular fellowship programs. To accomplish this and advance patient care in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) environment, the authors discuss the need for developing standardized CCC competencies based on CICU levels of complexity and the needs of their patient populations.

Read the article.

Native doing ritual

Ultrasound Pressure-Dependent Cytokine and Immune Cell Response Lost in Aged Muscle

Published in: Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (January 2024)

Ultrasound is a noninvasive procedure currently used to treat damaged muscle tissue. Researchers treated mice with low- or high-intensity therapeutic ultrasound to understand the subsequent immune response. Based on age, ultrasound has the potential to be used to achieve distinct goals within different populations.

Read the article.


Native doing ritual

Expression pattern analysis and characterization of the hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy 2 A (HSAN2A) gene with no lysine kinase (WNK1) in human dorsal root ganglion

Published in: Experimental Neurology (December 2023)

Researchers in the Department of Perioperative Medicine investigated a rare gene mutation coding for an enzyme that, when defective, causes pain insensitivity. Expression of the gene in primary sensory neurons is hypothesized to be a key factor for the insensitivity problem. The photomicrograph shows gene localization in sensory neurons visualized with multiplex in situ hybridization.

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abstract image of the brain

Associations Between White Matter Integrity and Postural Control in Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury

Published in: PLoS One (November 2023)

A new study reveals the impact of traumatic brain injury on balance and control of posture, demonstrated by disruptions to the integrity of white matter, the network of nerve fibers that enables communication between different areas of the brain.

Read the article.

Native doing ritual

Psychedelic Science, Contemplative Practices, and Indigenous and Other Traditional Knowledge Systems: Towards Integrative Community-Based Approaches in Global Health

Published in: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (October 2023)

Mental health conditions are the second leading cause of non-fatal disease. This paper reviews psychedelic science, contemplative practices, and Indigenous and other traditional knowledge systems to suggest that combining them in integrative models of care through community-based approaches with an accountable health system, could prove transformative for health care.

Read the article.

abstract image of brain

Artificial Intelligence and Infectious Disease Imaging

Published in: The Journal of Infectious Disease (October 2023)

Noting the promise of artificial intelligence to accelerate research and improve clinical care, researchers assessed AI techniques used in infectious disease imaging research, highlighting unique challenges and rapidly developing solutions.

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abstract image of nodes with the letters LLM

Feasibility of Using the Privacy-preserving Large Language Model Vicuna for Labeling Radiology Reports

Published in: Radiology (October 2023)

A Large Language Model (LLM) is a deep learning algorithm or artificial intelligence that can perform a variety of natural language processing tasks. Scientists are researching the feasibility of using a LLM to analyze and label data while protecting patient confidentiality.

Read the article.

Central Line

Prevention of Central Line–Associated Bloodstream Infections

Published in: The New England Journal of Medicine (September 2023)

Central lines provide reliable vascular access, however they are associated with a risk of central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and may increase antibiotic exposure and the risk of death. With the rise in incidence of CLABSI during the COVID-19 pandemic, this review reveals vulnerabilities in some infection-prevention strategies and highlights others that are more resilient.

Read the article.

child's hand reaching

Children With Bilateral Cerebral Palsy Exhibit Bimanual Asymmetric Motor Deficits and EEG Evidence of Dominant Sensorimotor Hemisphere Overreliance During Reaching

Published in: Neurorehabil Neural Repair (August 2023)

Scientists conducted the first electroencephalography (EEG) evaluation of children’s reaching behavior exclusively conducted on patients with bilateral cerebral palsy (where both sides of the patient’s body are affected). This group demonstrated bimanual motor deficits with slower reaches and stronger hand preference than in the control group.

Read the article.

microscopic image of Ebola

Clinical and immunological correlates of vasodilatory shock among Ebola virus infected nonhuman primates in a critical care models

Published in: The Journal of Infectious Diseases (August 2023)

The Ebola virus (EBOV) has led to increased outbreaks over the past decade. Using a nonhuman primate critical care model, two rhesus macaques were studied to better understand how the Ebola virus infection affects the body, focusing on shock and immune responses. Researchers concluded that the Ebola infection caused severe shock and organ dysfunction, along with changes in immune cell types and functions.

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A patient in a hospital bed

Distinguishing "Reasonable Accommodation" From Physical Assistance in Aid-in-Dying

Published in: American Journal of Bioethics (August 2023)

The authors highlight how aid-in-dying (AID) laws exclude terminal patients with motor impairments, leading them to endure progression of disease or opt for AID earlier than desired. In this commentary, they propose solutions that do not require changing the law.

Read the article.

photo of Holly Taylor

Responding to the Call to Meaningfully Assess Institutional Review Board Effectiveness

Published in: JAMA Network Open (July 2023)

In an opinion piece, the authors respond to a February 2023 GAO report on privately owned institutional review boards (IRBs). They address the difficult task of creating a stakeholder-driven, evidence-based approach to assessing IRB effectiveness beyond regulatory compliance.

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Use of flow cytometric light scattering to recognize the characteristic vacuolated marrow cells in VEXAS syndrome

Published in: Blood Advances (July 2023)

Scientists report a simple strategy using laser-based flow cytometric analysis to recognize white and red blood cell precursors in bone marrows of VEXAS patients with likely small cavities (vacuoles) characteristic of the systemic autoinflammatory disease. These results provide a potential diagnostic signal and basis to separate mutated cells, which may aid related functional and biochemical studies of the disease.

Read the article.

Covid cell

Outcomes Among Patients Hospitalized With Non–COVID-19 Conditions Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Alberta and Ontario, Canada

Published in: JAMA Network Open (July 2023)

NIH CC and Canadian investigators examined hospital overcrowding during the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it had on patients that didn’t have COVID-19 but needed the same resources in Canadian hospitals. The study suggests that non-ICU hospital care in Alberta and Ontario was resilient during COVID-19 caseload surges.

Read the article.


How I diagnose myeloid neoplasms with germline predisposition

Published in: American Journal of Clinical Pathology (July 2023)

Blood cancers caused by inherited genetic mutations and known as hematologic neoplasms with germline predisposition are more common than previously thought. In four case studies, researchers show how they use the clinical history, bone marrow findings, cytogenetic and molecular studies to identify patients with an inherited genetic predisposition for blood cancers, aiding in disease management.

Read the article.

CT scans

Predicting Infection Risk From Surveillance Cultures: Frustrating or Foretelling?

Published in: Lancet Infectious Diseases (June 2023)

In an invited commentary, two clinicians evaluate a recently published systematic review and meta-analysis of the cumulative incidence risk and infection rate of patients with multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria or vancomycin-resistant enterococci colonization of the gastrointestinal or urinary tract. The implications to antibiotic therapy with broad-spectrum antibiotics are considered.

Read the article.

CT scans

Improving segmentation and detection of lesions in CT scans using intensity distribution supervision

Published in: Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics (June 2023)

Researchers have developed a new approach to train medical imaging networks to more accurately identify and isolate diseased and damaged tissue. The team used a probability function and pixel intensity data from CT scans to better detect tumors or abnormal growths in the kidneys, small bowel, and lungs.

Read the article.

pills being examined by a medical professional

Psychedelics, Meaningfulness, and the "Proper Scope" of Medicine: Continuing the Conversation

Published in: Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (June 2023)

Psychedelics produce a variety of effects including significantly altered states of consciousness. Equally effective non-hallucinogenic analogs could someday become available. This article explores whether psychedelics that induce profound subjective experiences should remain the default treatment given ethical considerations like risk/benefit ratios, inclusivity, and the meaningfulness of the psychedelic experience. 

Read the article.

a woman smiling

Everyone Wants Access: It Comes With a Price

Published in: Critical Care Medicine (June 2023)

Central venous catheters provide safe and dependable vascular access for medical treatments but pose infection risks. Researchers studied electronic health records and found that increased catheter access correlated with higher infection rates. They suggest reducing access and using alternative routes for medication administration. However, practical challenges and risks must be considered. Rather than reducing use, medical teams must ensure proven infection prevention strategies are followed for each catheter insertion.

Read the article.

COVID-19 vaccination card and face masks

Association Between Vaccination Status and Outcomes in Patients Admitted to the ICU With COVID-19

Published in: Critical Care Medicine (May 2023)

Scientists compared outcomes of patients admitted to the ICU for SARS-CoV-2 infections in patients who had(vs had not) received a COVID-19 vaccination series. mortality risk remained similar between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients after the onset of critical illness, but booster doing was associated with increaed survivabulity from COVID-19 related critical illness.

Read the article.

brain scans

Persistence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Associated Cerebral Toxoplasmosis Lesions in Successfully Treated Patients Receiving Combination Antiretroviral Therapy

Published in: Open Forum Infectious Diseases (May 2023)

A recent study suggests that in people with HIV who have demonstrated immune reconstitution on anti-retroviral therapy, persistent brain lesions caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii may not require ongoing therapy after initial treatment is successful. Authors say the findings can help inform clinical decision-making for HIV-infected patients.

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small child being fed yogurt

Administration of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis strain BB-12® in healthy children: characterization, functional composition, and metabolism of the gut microbiome

Published in: Frontiers in Microbiology (May 2023)

Researchers examined the impact of two vs. three strain-supplemented yogurt probiotics on healthy children's gut microbiome and metabolome. An increase in the administered probiotics was observed over the first ten days, indicating their impact on the gut microbiome.

Read the article.

hands holding pink ribbon

Impact of nonpharmacological interventions on cognitive impairment in women with breast cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Published in: Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing (April 2023)

Scientists conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that include patients with cognitive disorders undergoing cancer treatment. Investigation found that nonpharmacological interventions can have a significant effect improving cognitive functioning within that demographic.

Read the article.

x-ray image of needle being placed into the sensory ganglion

Analgesia After Dorsal Root Ganglionic Injection Under CT-guidance in a Patient With Intractable Phantom Limb Pain

Published in: Pain Medicine (March 2023)

Controlling phantom limb pain is exceedingly difficult. Researchers in the Department of Perioperative Medicine CC, and at Massachusetts General Hospital, showed that direct inhibition sensory ganglion neurons can block phantom limb pain, which it did. The X-ray shows the treatment needle being placed into one of three ganglia injected.

Read the article.

hands on a pregnant belly

Beyond a Medicalized View of Reproduction: Recentering Pregnant People in the Ethics of Ectogenesis

Published in: The American Journal of Bioethics (March 2023)

In a commentary, the legal scholar and NIH post-doc responds to a recent paper framing the ethical considerations of artificial womb technology and fetal extraction, noting that the paper’s authors take a highly medicalized view of reproduction that favors the interests of the fetus and excludes those of pregnant mothers.

Read the article.

doctor and patient

Micronutrient Supplementation and Bone Health After Prophylactic Total Gastrectomy in Patients With CDH1 Variants

Published in: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (March 2023)

Prophylactic total gastrectomy, or complete removal of the stomach, is intended to reduce the risk of hereditary diffuse gastric cancer for people with germline variants in the CDH1 tumor suppressor gene. This study indicates that micronutrient supplementation and nutritional counseling is important to mitigate bone density loss after gastrectomy.

Read the article.

person holding stomach in pain

Fully-automated detection of small bowel carcinoid tumors in CT scans using deep learning

Published in: Medical Physics (March 2023)

Small bowel carcinoid tumor is a rare abnormal growth of tissue in the body that is becoming more common. Patients with this type of tumor often experience delays in diagnosis due to vague symptoms, slow growth of tumors, and lack of clinician awareness. This study explores the use of Computed tomography (CT) for diagnosis and detection of small bowel carcinoid tumor.

Read the article.

medical staff in a meeting

Advancing Luciferase-Based Antibody Immunoassays to Next-Generation Mix and Read Testing

Published in: Biosensors (Basel) (February 2023)

Researchers in the Department of Perioperative Medicine and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research developed a new method to measure antibodies in blood and body fluid. This review examines new variations on the basic method that can accelerate progress in understanding autoimmune disorders and infectious diseases. The signal is measured as a flash of light.

Read the article.

medical staff in a meeting

A Cross Sectional Survey of Recruitment Practices, Supports, and Perceived Roles for Unaffiliated and Non-scientist Members of IRBs

Published in: AJOB Empirical Bioethics (February 2023)

This study explore processes of recruitment, training, and the perceived roles for unaffiliated and non-scientist members of Institutional Review Boards.

Read the article.

COVID-19 cells

Vaccination Ameliorates Cellular Inflammatory Responses in SARS-cov-2 Breakthrough Infections

Published in: The Journal of Infectious Diseases (February 2023)

Researchers evaluated patients who had been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 and had breakthrough infections and compared them to unvaccinated patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. The study showed that vaccinations may help limit the progression of inflammatory responses associated with disease severity.

Read the article.

caretaker assisting patient with oxygen mask

Spleen tyrosine kinase inhibition restores myeloid homeostasis in COVID-19

Published in: Science Advances (January 2023)

Testing of cellular therapy products for MA trademark of COVID-19 is acute respiratory distress syndrome and multisystem organ failure. This study tries to understand differences in the myeloid response among those who received fostamatinib, a Spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor, versus placebo for the treatment of hospitalized patients on oxygen.

Read the article.

cells under a microscope

Comparison of Five Commercial Molecular Assays for Mycoplasma Testing of Cellular Therapy Products

Published in: Journal of Clinical Microbiology (January 2023)

Testing of cellular therapy products for Mycoplasma, a tiny, cell wall lacking bacteria, is a regulatory requirement by the FDA. This study analyzes five commercially available molecular assays to detect Mycoplasma and results showed the Biofire Mycoplasma assay performed best, while MycoSEQ and MycoTOOL assays performed similarly.

Read the article.

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This page last updated on 02/14/2024

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