Cardiovascular Imaging Labs at MedStar Health are at the Core of Innovation and Research to Prevent and Treat Heart Disease

Cardiovascular Imaging Labs at MedStar Health are at the Core of Innovation and Research to Prevent and Treat Heart Disease

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Doctors Maria Rodrigo and Federico Asch look at cardiac imaging scans at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

During the month of February, we observe American Heart Month to remind ourselves, our families and our communities to remain heart healthy. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Research has shown that risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and excessive alcohol use contributes to the prevalence of heart disease especially in black, latino, indigenous, and other at-risk communities.

MedStar Health Research Institute is striving to identify early prevention measures and provide treatments that help our patients live a longer and healthier life. One of the ways we do this is through our cardiovascular core laboratories, which consists of the echocardiography core lab, the cardiac MRI core lab, and the cardiac CT core lab. These are academic cardiovascular imaging core labs, which provide internationally recognized expertise for all types of cardiovascular imaging studies in the setting of large, multicenter clinical trials addressing the most relevant clinical questions in cardiovascular diseases. Our team of researchers aim to understand the background and desired outcomes and offer their expertise and knowledge in medical imaging to help guide the clinical trials to effectively reach its endpoints.

Dr. Federico Asch, Director of the Cardiovascular Core Labs, leads a team that provides interpretation and analysis for all types of cardiac ultrasound images including transthoracic, transoesophageal/intraoperative, intracardiac, epicardial echocardiography, and 3D TEE. Recently, the echocardiography core lab has been using machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve diagnosis, care and image interpretation. This is an area of opportunity for researchers and cardiologists to identify heart conditions early and more accurately and be able to provide treatment options to patients in a timely manner.

Here are just a few research studies and publications that are focusing on the solutions developed by Dr. Asch and the echocardiography core lab team:

While heart disease has impacted families near and wide, taking steps for prevention and keeping our hearts healthy can help increase awareness. Our researchers are working hard to deliver effective and innovative practices that will enable us to be in front of this disease and save lives. The Research Institute is exploring data science more and more, and the echocardiography core lab is a great example in how we’re achieving our commitment to advance health through research.

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