Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Training for radiologist researchers for effective translational research

Critical Challenge

Submitted by (@str0001)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

As targeted therapy and molecular mechanisms of disease are emerging, a mechanism to improve the ability of radiologists to perform translational research is crucial. Such knowledge is essential for collaborative multidisciplinary research that ultimately leads to imaging as disease-specific diagnostic and therapeutic tools to combat pulmonary and cardiovascular disease.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Knowledge in the molecular mechanisms of disease and the potential for imaging technology to advance via targeted imaging agents, positron emission tomography (PET), functional MR methods, PET/computer tomography, and PET/MR is increasing. The radiologist has in depth expertise within imaging technology, performance of studies, and diagnostic abilities of imaging techniques. A program directed towards developing imagers towards translational imaging research will include in-depth education and training in lung physiology, pulmonary disease mechanisms, multimodality imaging bridging CT, PET/CT, MR and PET/MR, and the molecular techniques. With such knowledge and training, radiologists will be prepared to serve as principal investigators and collaborators in multidisciplinary teams. An understanding of imaging technologies and their capabilities, the clinical challenges, and molecular techniques will enable imagers to provide innovative solutions to diagnostic dilemmas in pulmonary and cardiovascular disease.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Society of Thoracic Radiology

Voting

-1 net votes
5 up votes
6 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Controversies exist regarding thoracic aortic disease imaging

Controversies exist regarding aortic disease imaging (the aorta as well as the aortic valve, including characterization in the presence of a bicuspid aortic valve (BAV)). Many imaging approaches are optimized for evaluation of coronary artery disease rather than aortic disease. Without accurate characterization, the degree of disease progression may be under estimated, patient symptoms may be discounted, and those who ...more »

Submitted by (@bavtad)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Imaging specifically tailored to BAV and the thoracic aortic aneurysm population is needed. This includes efforts to identify subtle forms of aortic valve malformation such as the “forme fruste” BAV as described by Sperling and Lubet.

1. Echocardiogram is a useful noninvasive imaging tool, however, it is believed to miss detection of as many as 50% of BAVs.

2. The exercise echocardiogram is useful for evaluation of wall motion abnormality, which may be present in those with coronary artery disease or other underlying sources of myocardial injury. However, this is not a common issue in those with BAV. Rather, accurate assessment of BAV function is necessary. Pressure testing for eccentric AI and the short axis view of the AV area, including clear visualization of both the open and closed valve, may not be employed, and consequently clarity of BAV functioning is not achieved.

3. Although there are open questions about aortic size relative to timing of elective surgery, size of the aorta is a diagnostic parameter, and is frequently done via CT imaging. CT images are typically captured in diastole, which is appropriate for coronary artery disease. However, the aorta will be undersized if measured in diastole. Measurement of the aorta in systole captures the aorta when most distended.

4. Other considerations, such as the presence of bovine arch anatomy, may not be noted, since their relevance may not be appreciated.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Current imaging technology is widely available in most medical communities. It is very feasible, by focusing on valvular and aortic conditions separately from coronary artery disease, to optimize imaging for these conditions and make these imaging approaches broadly available to patients.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Arlys Velebir, Bicuspid Aortic Foundation

Voting

0 net votes
11 up votes
11 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Development of non-contrast alternatives in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging

Critical Challenge

Submitted by (@str0001)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Late gadolinium-enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MR) plays a crucial role in the evaluation of patients with suspected myocardial scar tissue. Alternative methods to contrast-enhanced MR however are in need, given the number of patients who have concomitant compromised renal function and concern for nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. Noncontrast MR techniques such as diffusion-weighted imaging would complement and eventually replace gadolinium administration thus impacting the evaluation of those with suspected and confirmed infiltrative cardiac processes and systemic diseases.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Late gadolinium enhancement technique characterizes enhancement patterns of heart disease, identifies areas amenable to ablation, and aids in decisions pertaining to workup and therapy. The underlying mechanism of Brownian motion/diffusion in the expanded extracellular space makes diffusion weighted imaging a potential gadolinium-saving modality. Diffusion MR, applied primarily in the brain and abdominal imaging, is underutilized in the heart given respiratory and cardiac motion. A need exists to further develop and apply noncontrast MR techniques towards cardiovascular applications. Such methods are promising noncontrast alternatives to characterize patients with myocardial disease, determine those with differing prognoses, and direct appropriate therapies to subgroups.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Society of Thoracic Radiology

Voting

3 net votes
6 up votes
3 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Detection of rupture prone small aortic aneurysms

Critical challenges in the assessment of aortic aneurysms are: (1) Availability of reliable animal models that simulate the human pathology, (2) Availability of molecular imaging resources – identification of biomarkers, development of targeted imaging probes and pre-clinical imaging methods, and plasma markers that predict whether an aneurysm is prone to rupture or dissection, (3) Bringing together a wide array of multi-disciplinary ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Developing clinically viable methods to detect rupture prone aneurysms can lead to better methods of diagnosis and intervention and avoid preventable fatalities

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Several other disease areas including oncological that had similar gap was filled by NIH (NCI) and the challenges were overcome in less than 10 years. The scientific expertise to fill the gap exists, however they work in silos, which need to be brought together to fulfil this gap and is achievable in less than 10 years

Assessment of aortic aneurysms that are prone to rupture or dissection has been an elusive target. Current clinical practice measures the aortic diameter and fails to relate to the pathophysiology and biomechanical properties of the aneurysm in deciding preventive surgery. Critical gap exists in the diagnosis of aneurysm especially with small aneurysms (3 - 5 cm in diameter) that are rupture prone. Based on autopsy about 10 percent of individuals with small abdominal aneurysms had undergone fatal rupture, while 40 percent with diameters of 7-10 cm had intact aneurysm and died from other causes. International Registry of Aortic Dissection found that 40% of thoracic aneurysms dissected at diameters smaller than 5 cm.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

Voting

7 net votes
18 up votes
11 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Preventing or reversing myocardial fibrosis

Conduct proof-of-concept studies and explore whether strategies to reverse or prevent fibrosis are feasible.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

This challenge will lead to early studies of potential therapeutics for arrhythmias and heart failure. If successful, this would have huge impact.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Recent studies have identified some compelling signaling pathways that activate fibrosis so it is feasible to test them through creative experimentation.

Fibrosis and fibrogenesis in the myocardium are clear indications that heart function is either declining or progressing towards decline. Although much of the current research continues to focus on unraveling mechanisms that lead to fibrosis and activation of fibrogenesis, there is as yet less focus on potential mechanisms to prevent or reverse fibrosis. This was in part due to insufficient understanding of major causes of fibrosis and mechanisms that activate fibrogenesis. However, findings from recent studies show that there are several compelling therapeutic targets that are ready to be tested to see whether fibrosis can be reversed or prevented.

May need strategies on how to best to succeed in implementing the research - e.g., what research mechanisms, what kind of teams, what kind of expertise, etc. To fine tune this, a focused workshop for advice may be helpful.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

Voting

19 net votes
33 up votes
14 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Can one integrate cardiac imaging studies with genetic,clinical, "omics", and historical data to predict disease and personalize

There are many novel imaging modalities, including radiographic, scintigraphic, sonographic, MR-based, and molecular for the heart and vessels. Patients have unique medical "signatures"- genetic risk factor profiles, epigenetic markings, "omics" profiles, and personal clinical and family history as well as symptom constellation and physical exam findings. Can these all be integrated into a single personalized profile ...more »

Submitted by (@dpinsky)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

This will require a combination of informatics, state of the art imaging, and state of the art genetics and omics profiling with integration with the electronic health record.

Voting

1 net vote
2 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Comprehensive Assessment of Cardiovascular Physiology: Imaging of Structure, Function and Blood Flow

The development of cardiovascular disease is associated with changes in structure, function and blood flow within a complex and highly interconnected system. Current diagnostic tools focus on individual elements of the cardiovascular system and/or relatively simple parameters which do not reflect the true underlying pathophysiology. A novel multi-modular and multi-parametric approach based on new and promising imaging ...more »

Submitted by (@mmarkl)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Voting

1 net vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Imaging indicators of metabolic syndrome and cardiopulmonary disease

Critical Challenge

Submitted by (@str0001)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Obesity and metabolic syndrome affect a large portion of the population and affects multiple organ systems. Identifying obesity phenotypes by imaging will impact the significant healthcare issue presented by MetS and could provide a reliable, non-invasive index of disease severity, guide prevention and intervention response.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Metabolic syndrome, abnormal metabolism, may be potentially linked to obesity and cardiopulmonary disease. Theories exist but are in need of clarification. The relationship between metabolic syndrome and multiple other diseases including chronic obstructive lung disease, coronary atherosclerosis, and obesity warrants further investigation and can be elucidated through imaging. Advances in computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MR) enable assessment of the cardiopulmonary manifestations, with promising MR techniques to complement high-resolution imaging data achievable with chest CT and coronary CT angiography. Assessment of CT and MR techniques in combination with three-dimensional quantitative analysis of manifestations of metabolic syndrome such as fat deposits derived from different adipocytes (white fat versus brown fat) such as in the subcutaneous, visceral, epicardial, and perivascular regions is feasible with current technology and may enable differentiation of those with varying risks of cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. The association of imaging parameters, metabolic syndrome, and associated diseases are in need of investigation, and knowledge gained may prove crucial for identifying those at risk for metabolic syndrome and at higher risk for complications in the large population of our country affected by obesity.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Society of Thoracic Radiology

Voting

6 net votes
10 up votes
4 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Predicting and monitoring atherosclerosis progression and vulnerable plaque

How to develop novel methods for predicting and monitoring atherosclerosis progression and vulnerable plaque including biomarkers and imaging?

Submitted by (@societyforvascularsurgery)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Society for Vascular Surgery

Voting

3 net votes
4 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Low-dose and non-ionizing imaging for chronic lung disease

Critical Challenge

Submitted by (@str0001)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Imaging plays a crucial role in the initial evaluation of patients with suspected or surveillance of those with confirmed diffuse chronic lung disease. Attention towards developing alternative non-ionizing imaging technologies and evaluating the efficacy of radiation dose saving techniques will impact a large patient population.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Imaging, particularly computed tomography (CT) plays a major role in the evaluation of diffuse pulmonary disease. High resolution CT (HRCT) characterizes parenchymal patterns of lung disease, identifies areas amenable to biopsy, and aids in decisions pertaining to workup and therapy of lung disease. With multidetector CT technology, volumetric HRCT enables evaluation of the entire lung volume for diffuse lung disease. The utility of CT needs to be balanced with the exposure of patients to ionizing radiation, particularly younger-aged individuals who are more sensitive to ionizing radiation. In CT, dose-saving techniques enable imaging of the parenchyma at ultra-low dose levels. Additionally, an understanding of low radiation-dose CT techniques that preserve the diagnostic ability for diffuse lung disease, while maintaining the precision of quantitative measures, is needed. Magnetic resonance imaging (MR) is underutilized as an imaging tool given respiratory motion and limitations in spatial resolution. A need exists to develop and apply MR imaging techniques with spatial resolution approaching that of high resolution CT. Promising advances in the MR technology has occurred, and continued development and application will provide alternative and non-ionizing options for imaging patients with diffuse lung disease affecting both the parenchyma and airways.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Society of Thoracic Radiology

Voting

8 net votes
10 up votes
2 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Noninvasive biomarkers for characterizing cardiovascular disease

Critical Challenge

Submitted by (@str0001)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Phenotypical characterization of cardiovascular disease with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MR) to individualize targeted therapies for coronary artery and myocardial disease. Coronary artery disease is a major cause of patient death in the United States. Nonischemic myocardial disease includes entities with clinically heterogeneous presentations and is thus challenging to manage.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Currently CT and MR technology allows dynamic evaluation of the perfusion and contractility of the heart. Quantitative measures of disease burden, such as atherosclerotic plaque composition and myocardial texture imaging biomarkers (such as T1 mapping, activation mapping, flow pattern analysis, delayed myocardial enhancement), are possible. Positron emission tomography (PET)/MR, which combines metabolic with functional evaluation, is currently available and facilitates the development of targeted molecular-imaging techniques. Metrics derived from these techniques may serve to stratify patients noninvasively and direct appropriate therapies. Such imaging methods address noninvasive evaluation of cardiovascular disease, including ischemic heart disease but also myocardial diseases that include secondary and infiltrative cardiomyopathies, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and organ rejection in the scenario of transplantation.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Society of Thoracic Radiology

Voting

8 net votes
11 up votes
3 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

What do we know about Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF)

Mortality is similar between HFpEF and HFrEF but we have currently no viable therapeutic option for HFpEF. There have been many large trials, but they all failed. Our basic understanding of the disease is very limited which contributed to failures of many prior trials and wasting $$$. We know very little about the pathophysiology of the disease . It is time to get back to the basic science and use our new tools (e.g. ...more »

Submitted by (@rezanezafat)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Better therapy for HFpEF is an unmet clinical needs which will impact millions of patients

Voting

6 net votes
17 up votes
11 down votes
Active