The Division of Cardiology was well-represented last week at the prestigious Northwestern Cardiovascular Young Investigators’ Forum.

Three presentations hailed from University of Pittsburgh physicians:

  • Cardiology fellow Polakit Teekakirikul, MD won 2nd place in the fellows’ basic science research category for his presentation on “Identification of a novel TPM1 mutation in congenital atrial septal defect.” Harnessing linkage analysis and whole exome sequencing, his team identified TPM1 as a candidate gene for familial atrial septal defect and provided functional data showing an essential role of this gene in heart development and function.
  • Cardiology fellow Ahmad Masri, MD gave a presentation entitled “Outcomes of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension following Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement” showing that patients with PH that resolves post-TAVR have survival comparable to patients without baseline PH, while patients with persistent PH have an increased risk of mortality. Whether persistent PH should be a modifiable target for future therapies beyond TAVR requires further investigation.
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine João Cavalcante, MD gave a presentation entitled “Cardiac Amyloidosis is Prevalent in Older Patients with Aortic Stenosis and Prognostically Adverse.” Dr. Cavalcante and his colleagues studied a cohort of patients with moderate to severe AS who underwent CMR for clinical indications, finding a prevalence of cardiac amyloidosis of 16%. Importantly, the presence of CA was associated with high all-cause mortality, regardless of aortic valve intervention, suggesting that careful consideration must be given to presence of amyloid in deciding whether to attempt aortic valve intervention in this population.

Congratulations to all presenters on an excellent showing at the Northwestern Cardiovascular Young Investigators Forum!