Significance and Temporal Course of Advanced Echocardiographic Measurements of Left Ventricular Function in an Australian Cohort of Stage A Heart Failure, with High Baseline Cardiovascular Risk

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
Western Health
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Professor Chris Neil Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Professor Chiew Ying Wong Personal web page

Project Details

Many individuals within our community are at risk of developing left ventricular (LV) dysfunction and heart failure (HF). The incidence of HF, therefore, continues to rise, in association with an increasing incidence of hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Whilst these latter conditions should be managed on their own merits, they are also known risk factors for the development of HF. In view of this, a conceptual category a preclinical stage in the continuum of HF risk, has been proposed and designated as Stage A HF (AHA, 2000). Patients in this category typically have hypertension, diabetes and/or obesity and it is believed that these conditions affect myocardial structure and function over time, whilst the patient remains asymptomatic. If LV structural or functional disease is detected, the patient is designated as Stage B HF, whereas patients who go on to develop symptomatology for HF are designated stage C, and those in advanced and refractory states of HF are designated stage D. Although this conceptual framework has existed for over 10 years, questions remain about the early stages. For example, the rate at which patients with Stage A progress to Stage B remains unknown.

In order to elucidate the progression of Stage A HF to Stages B and C, a prospective study of 600 patients was previously conducted (NIL-CHF study). High quality two dimensional echocardiograms were obtained at baseline and at intervals over 18 months, in each subject. Various echo measurements have been proposed to predict the progression to HF (among these, LV global longitudinal strain and the myocardial performance index). The purpose of this project is to use this previously echocardiographic source data to measure novel echocardiographic parameters and thus to explore their significance in this large cohort, with reference to clinical events in patients, over time. This work will inform the cardiology community regarding the rate of change (or otherwise) of these novel parameters in patients with active cardiovascular risk and will provide new information regarding their predictive value in the important clinical context of preclinical HF. The student will work in an experienced cardiac imaging team and become proficient in the analysis of cardiac function, utilising state-of-the-art software. The results of this study will be highly relevant for publication and for discussion at national and international cardiology meetings

School Research Themes


Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Western Health

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