NOVEMBER 2015  -

Dr. Mercader's Research Discussed in Hispanic Publication
Dr. Mercader was featured in Hispanic Executive magazine this month. The article described his groundbreaking research in developing a new catheter to treat atrial fibrillation. This technology, called LuxCath, has the potential to improve the outcome for patients being treated with catheter ablation to cure this common heart rhythm disorder. Dr. Mercader grew up in Puerto Rico, is a bi-lingual cardiac electrophysiologist and is the head of the GW Institute's Arrhythmia Research. Dr. Mercader provides cardiac care for a large portion of the region's Hispanic population and has been a frequent volunteer for the Institute's annual Honduras Medical Mission. Hispanic Executive magazine is the leading print publication profiling Latinos that redefine the US and international business landscape. Hispanic Executive offers readers and featured executives a platform to connect and unite. 

Two GW Cardiology Fellows Awarded Institute's Young Investigator Research Funding
GW Cardiology Fellows, Drs. Ju Kim and Gurpreet Sodhi were awarded the GW Heart & Vascular Institute's Young Investigator Pilot Research Award for academic year 2015-2016.
Under the mentorship of Dr. Gurusher Panjrath, Dr. Sodhi will study "Effects of Juvenile Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathies (JIIM) on the Heart." JIIM is a rare rheumatologic disease that can damage the heart muscle. Using new sensitive echocardiographic techniques, this study aims to understand the effects of JIIM on right and left ventricle contraction and relaxation. In addition, the research team will assess the effect of abatacept, a new immunotherapy drug, to restore normal heart function.
Dr. Kim, mentored by Dr. Jannet Lewis, will study "Use of handheld ultrasound to guide heart failure management in an outpatient diuretic clinic." Using a miniature echocardiographic machine, Drs. Kim and Lewis will estimate the fluid balance in heart failure patients at the bedside in the clinic setting. This information has the potential to assist physicians in accurate adjustment of diuretics (fluid pills), thereby reducing shortness of breath, improving quality of life, and decreasing kidney damage.    

Dr. Borden Presents on Big Data at Inaugural Conference
Dr. William Borden served on the Advisory Committee for the Academy Health Concordium's fall 2015 inaugural conference. This meeting aimed to use new data and knowledge to transform health systems. At the conference, Dr. Borden served on a panel entitled "Generating Actionable Data to Increase Value for Accountable Care Organizations." In addition, Dr.Borden was one of four invited faculty conducting a summary webinar reviewing the conference.

Faculty Present at the American Heart Association's Annual Scientific Sessions
At the 2015 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association held November 1-3 in Orlando, Florida, GW Cardiology faculty and fellows presented original research findings.
  • Former GW Chief Resident, Wes Fiser, MD, presented an abstract entitled "Low Income Patients with Myocardial Infarction Are Less Likely to Receive a Drug Eluting Stent than Patients from High Income Areas." The abstract, written with co-authors Ramesh Mazhari, MD, Christian Nagy, MD, and Jonathan Reiner, MD, analyzed data from GW's busy acute MI treatment program. The study evaluated 332 consecutive patients with acute myocardial infarction treated at GW including demographic data such as age, gender, ZIP code, stent type, self-identified race, and health insurance status. Using 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data, median household income was estimated using home ZIP code. Strikingly, patients residing in the highest income quartile were significantly more likely to receive a drug-eluting stent than those residing in the lowest income quartile. This data suggests that non-quantitative, socioeconomic assessments may have important ramifications in stent selection. The fact that this effect was primarily seen in African American patients warrants further evaluation.
  • Dr. Lisa Martin was co-author on the Women's Health Initiative's (WHI) ongoing research reports. The WHI group presented "Racial and Ethnic Differences in Heart Failure Progression in Post-Menopausal Women: The Women's Health Initiative" and "Lipidomic Profiles are Associated with Incident Coronary Heart Disease in Women."
  • Dr. William Borden gave an invited lecture on using big data for clinical research as part of a panel "Precision Medicine and Big Data Methods: Applications and Methods for New Investigators." The discussion aimed to help fellows and early career investigators use large databases for cardiovascular research. Borden also co-chaired a session on guideline-based care entitled "Trends in Utilization of Guideline-Recommended Medications: The Times They Are a Changin'" -- which focused on how clinicians are using clinical guideline-based therapies.