UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science
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Tissue characterisation and ischaemic imaging
Based across Great Ormond Street and the Heart Hospital Imaging Centre, our group focuses on better defining normal and abnormal myocardium. We develop new techniques, such as the equilibrium contrast CMR technique for defining pathological processes in myocardium and explore their clinical utility. We have particular interests in cardiomyopathies, amyloid, storage diseases and myocardial infarction and are integrated with those clinical services.
Key research activities
create methods to measure new aspects of abnormal heart muscle. One important
method is in using CMR to measure diffuse myocardial fibrosis. To date, this fundamental process was only
detectable by heart biopsy. Our first few years data show this technique to be
robust and potentially applicable in across cardiology.
Scarring occurs in most heart diseases. The scars potentially represent the substrate for arrhythmia and heart failure. Our research explores all aspects of scar – how to acquire the images, how to measure scar on the images, and their significance, including prognostic and diagnostic relevance.
Diagnosing established disease is often relatively easy – but getting the disease in the early phase harder. We are interested in detecting the earliest changes, particularly in families, such that treatment can be started early, or, just as importantly, individuals can be reassured to the fullest extent that there is no disease present.
involvement in amyloid is associated with poor outcome. We aim to diagnose and quantify amyloid
infiltration in the heart and to create precise tests so that future trials of
new therapies can gauge their effect on the heart.
an individual suffers a heart attack, emergency surgery is needed to open up
the artery (primary angioplasty). However, up-to one third of heart muscle could be prevented from dying
with additional therapies at this time. We explore the biology of heart muscle during heart attacks and new
treatments that could save this muscle.
CMR is one of the best ways of measuring the heart and thus disease. We run a CMR corelab to coordinate clinical trials and quality control scans at multiple centres across (mainly) Europe and UK.
The aim of this study is to translate ECV measurement into clinical practice: firstly, to quantify fibrosis pre- and post-surgery to track changes and link fibrosis to outcomes, thus informing decisions about surgical timing; secondly, to develop and validate new ways of measuring fibrosis using CT and CMR, permitting cheaper and faster fibrosis measurement; thirdly, to characterise qualitative changes in fibrosis on intra-operative biopsy samples, and link these with outcomes to distinguish adaptive from mal-adaptive changes.