Strategic Goal: Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Functional pulmonary imaging with noninvasive imaging techniques

Critical Challenge

Submitted by (@str0001)

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

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Pulmonary dynamics are altered with diffuse lung disease. Pulmonary function testing is a mainstay for evaluating patients with diffuse lung disease. However, ability to assess alterations of local lung mechanics and physiology may elucidate those patients with varying outcomes and mechanisms of disease. Such local analysis is possible with imaging such as MR and quantitative computed tomography (CT).

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MR) techniques are available that are capable of evaluating the oxygen delivery and blood flow to regional areas of the lung and measurement of pressures in the heart and vasculature. Additionally, advanced dual-energy CT techniques enable assessment of blood volume within the lungs. Such techniques can be applied to pulmonary vascular and pulmonary parenchymal disease and combinations of the two. For example, an understanding of the cardiopulmonary interaction and phenotyping of pulmonary hypertension is needed. A need exists to determine if advanced CT technology and MR can identify patients with the emerging phenotypes of combined pulmonary hypertension, in which the degree of pulmonary hypertension is greater than expected from cardiac and pulmonary causes. MR can potentially serve as early predictors of these phenotypes, given MR’s ability to evaluate the parenchyma, the pulmonary vasculature, and heart, and in combination with other biomarkers determine appropriate therapy.

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

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Strategic Goal: 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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Novel technologies to save minutes and lives

There is a need to develop hand-held portable imaging or other technologies that can help paramedics to collect and transmit data when patients are undergoing cardiovascular events.

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 :

Save time and lives for patients destined to Emergency

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The component technologies are developed enough to integrate them in the next 5-10 years

Time spent waiting for an ambulance, driving to a hospital and enduring diagnostic tests before medical intervention can quickly add up, especially with patients undergoing cardiovascular events. In the era of internet, smartphones, and portable imaging and handheld technologies, saving valuable time during which paramedics can be assisting the emergency physicians in diagnosing heart attacks and help to identify and start the needed intervention at once when the patient arrive at the hospital.

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

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Strategic Goal: 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

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Strategic Goal: 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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

NHLBI Cardiovascular Engineering Strategy

Most impressive and impactful advances in CV diagnostics and therapies came in the last 50 years from CV engineering, including implantable devices and imaging technology. CV engineers are developing next breakthrough technology including tissue engineering and flexible electronics. However, organizational structure of NIH does not have an entity responsible for strategic development of CV engineering. NIBIB does not ...more »

Submitted by (@efimov)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Cardiovascular Science produced numerous fundamental ideas, which frame our approaches to diagnostics and therapy of heart disease. However, translating these ideas to clinic very often requires engineering approaches. Examples of such breakthrough therapies are implantable pacemakers and defibrillators, stents, MRI, CT and many other imaging modalities. NIBIB supports many fields of biomedical engineering, except cardiovascular! NHLBI lacks a branch responsible for strategic development of cardiovascular engineering as a critical pathway to translation of basic science ideas. There is no study section or review group focusing on cardiovascular engineering. As a result, most of CV Engineering grants are reviewed by CV biologists, who lack engineering background and have quite different priorities and vision of the field. Next breakthrough developments will happen in tissue engineering, flexible/stretchable/biodegradable electronics, novel imaging modalities, computational physiology, and other classical biomedical engineering sub-fields. Unfortunately, they are less likely to happen in cardiovascular field, because NHLBI lacks corresponding organizational structure. A working group should be formed to frame NHLBI's vision for the future of cardiovascular engineering as an indispensable component for translation from CV biology to CV therapy.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Biomedical engineering has trained several generations of professionals in academia and industry, which pursue basic and translational research and development with great degree of success. CV Engineering is a standard component in numerous BME Departments. Large number of senior and junior CV engineers have been recognized for their significant contribution to CV health. There is enormous CV engineering expertise and experience, which should be leveraged by NHLBI, in order to broadly define institutional strategy not only for CV biology but also for CV engineering, which are equally important in development of future breakthrough therapies for CV disease. Currently, support for CV engineering is scattered across numerous mostly biology focused groups, lacking strategic vision and coherent policy. A number of talented CV engineers are forced to leave the field to pursue other areas of biomedical engineering, which enjoy better-organized professional group support.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Igor Efimov

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Strategic Goal: Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Patient-Specific Blueprints to Guide Cardiac Surgery

In order to increase the success of robotic mitral valve repair, we need to stimulate a fusion of multi-modal functional imaging with 3-D valve models that can accurately predict valve shape and closure throughout the cardiac cycle, then develop surgical “blueprints” that overlay incision and suture maps on the surgeon’s console to guide perioperative robotic repair.

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 :

Improve the effectiveness of cardiac valve repair surgery, and provide a training tool to teach cardiac surgeons

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The scientific components all already exist. We need them to be integrated together, and there are already many examples of successful technology fusion of this sort.

Valve repair is a challenging procedure often requiring complex techniques and relying heavily on qualitative judgment and experience of the surgeon or interventionalist. It is also hampered by limited echocardiographic guidance, and difficult valve exposure and ergonomic access. Robotic surgery has been an important enabler for mitral valve repairs. The same overlays could be applied in training simulators so surgeons have the ability to emulate valve repair operations in 3-D digital platforms and get rapid feedback about the efficacy of the simulated repair.

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

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Strategic Goal: 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

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Strategic Goal: 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

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Strategic Goal: 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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Image Repository

There is a need to digitize, remove identifiers, and archive, and catalog physical images, and to promote their use in clinical investigations.

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 :

Enable leveraging existing resources and possible re-purposing of existing resources to address a wide variety of research questions.

 

This is a cross-study, cross-NHLBI, and even cross-NIH or beyond, need.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Digitized imaging data files are enormous. Advances in data storage, with corresponding decreases in cost, have enabled storage of these files. For some types of images, data format standards have also arisen.

Many studies have collected data using a wide variety of imaging technologies. While the extracted data have been utilized in analyses and incorporated into shared data resources, additional research could be done on the original images.

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

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Strategic Goal: Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Short comprehensive cardiac MR imaging in post-chemotherapy cancer patients

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 :

Cardiovascular disease and cancer are frequently identified in the same patient. Both diseases are highly prevalent in the United States population, and cancer or its therapies can result in cardiovascular disease. Early diagnosis and prediction of cardiovascular disease in patients to undergo therapy will identify patients at higher risk for cardiac dysfunction and enable earlier diagnosis of subclinical cardiac dysfunction.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (MR) is a powerful imaging modality for evaluating the heart function. Specifically, MR techniques allow for quantifying regional heart function, e.g. strain and strain rate, and may provide earlier markers of cardiovascular disease development than global measures of heart function, e.g. left ventricular ejection fraction, as estimated by echocardiography. Early identification of subclinical heart failure of post-chemotherapy cancer patients will allow for early and on-time chemotherapy change and personalized treatment.

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

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