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Jo-Anne O'Malley Shepard, MD

Director, Thoracic Imaging and Intervention Division

Director, Cardiothoracic Imaging Fellowship

Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

  • Phone: 617-724-4256


  • Cancer Center
  • Thoracic Cancers
Clinical Interests
Percutaneous Needle Aspiration Biopsy
Lung cancer
Radiofrequency Ablation of Lung
Pulmonary Embolism
Thoracic radiology
Diseases of airways
Thoracic PET / CT
Critical care imaging
Lung transplant
Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Medical Education
MD, Boston University School of Medicine
Residency, Hartford Hospital
Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital
Fellowship, Boston VA Medical Center
Board Certifications
Diagnostic Radiology, American Board of Radiology
Patient Age Group
Accepting New Patients
Accepting New Patients

BiographyAs Director of Thoracic Imaging and Intervention at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Jo-Anne Shepard assumes responsibility for all clinical, teaching and research activities within the Division.

Dr. Shepard provides subspecialty diagnostic consultation on a wide spectrum of surgical and medical patients including critical care patients in the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU), Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), Neurologic Intensive Care Unit, and Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). In addition, she provides imaging and consultation for critically ill patients on the transplant, oncology, burn, trauma, infectious disease, and pulmonary services in addition to the general medical and surgical services. Dr. Shepard routinely performs diagnostic percutaneous biopsy of the lung and she has instituted radiofrequency ablation (RFA) as an alternative treatment for tumors of the lung and chest wall with the support of the Departments of Thoracic Surgery and Thoracic Oncology. As Medical Director, Department of Radiology, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Dr. Shepard has administrative responsibility for the technical performance and diagnostic interpretation of the radiographic images performed in the department.

Dr. Shepard teaches the art and science of radiology to Harvard medical students, medical, surgical and radiology interns, residents and fellows and international visiting physicians. She is Director of the Cardiothoracic Imaging Fellowship Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and an examiner in Cardiothoracic Radiology for the American Board of Radiology (ABR). Since 2000 she has been Associate Editor in Radiology for the Case Records of the Massachusetts General Hospital, New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Shepard's research interests are in the realm of thoracic imaging and intervention.

ResearchDr. Shepard's research interests are in the realm of thoracic imaging and intervention. Her research has focused on studying percutaneous needle biopsy of the lung, resulting in implementation of standard procedures for the appropriate selection of patients, improved diagnostic technique, and significantly improved post procedural care of biopsy patients.  The experience and skills derived from the experience with needle biopsies have led to the development of the Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) Program for lung tumors at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Her current research focuses on studying RFA of the lung in the treatment of lung tumors. She is a co-investigator in the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) pilot study of RFA in high risk patients with Stage IA non-small cell lung cancer.

The MGH recently participated in the Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis (PIOPED II), a National Institute of Health (NIH) sponsored multi-center trial in the investigation of pulmonary embolism by CT angiography (CTA) and peripheral venous thrombosis by CT venography (CTV).  Dr. Shepard oversaw the implementation of this trial within the Division of Thoracic Radiology at MGH.  The results of the PIOPED II investigation have recently been published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Shepard's clinical investigations have focused on imaging of thoracic surgical conditions including lung transplantation, diseases of the airways, and lung tumors.  She has described imaging findings on new technologies including MR imaging and FDG PET imaging characteristics of chest tumors. She has investigated the CT evaluation of incidental pulmonary nodules detected by CT leading to the development of guidelines for the follow up of pulmonary nodules published by the Fleischner Society.  Dr. Shepard is currently investigating dose reduction techniques in CT imaging of the chest.

PublicationsOriginal Articles

Stein PD, Fowler SE, Goodman LR, Gottschalk A, Hales C, Hull RD, Leeper KV, Popovich J, Quinn DA, Sos TA, Sostman HD, Tapson VF, Wakefield TW, Weg JG, Woodard PK, for the PIOPED II INVESTIGATORS* (*CT Working Group- Goodman L, Burrowes P, Hatfield B, Heiken J, Henschke C, Heyneman L, Kazerooni E, MacGregor J, McAdams H, Mcloud T, Patel S, Shepard JO*, Spizarny D, Wittram C, Woodard P, Woodcock R, Yankelevitz D). Multidetector computed tomography for acute pulmonary embolism.  N Engl J Med 2006; 354:2317-27.

Lanuti M, Sharma A, Digumarthy SR, Wright CD, Donahue DM, Wain JC, Mathisen DJ, Shepard JO*. Radiofrequency ablation for treatment of medically inoperable stage I non-small cell lung cancer. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2009;137(1):160-6.

Singh S, Kalra MK, Gilman M, Hsieh J, Pien HP, Digumarthy SR, Shepard JO*. Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction technique for radiation dose reduction in chest CT: A pilot study. Radiology March 2011.

Review Articles

Wu CC, Maher MM, Shepard JO. CME. WEB. Structured Review Article. CT-Guided Percutaneous Needle Biopsy of the Chest: Preprocedural Evaluation and Technique. Am. J. Roentgenol. ; May 2011. 196(5): 10.2214.

Wu CC, Maher MM, Shepard JO.  CME. WEB. Structured Review Article. Complications of CT-Guided Percutaneous Needle Biopsy of the Chest: Prevention and Management  Am. J. Roentgenol. June 2011.

Sharma A, Moore WH, Shepard, JO.  How I Do It: Radiofrequency Ablation and Cryoablation of Lung Tumors. J Thorac Imaging 2011;26:162-74.

Mass General research: Image reconstruction slashes chest CT radiation

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Mass General Imaging introduces CT lung-cancer screening

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One patient at a time

During the fifth annual physician recognition dinner hosted Nov. 12 by the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGPO), nearly 600 physicians and guests gathered to celebrate the past, present and future of MGH’s clinical contributions and to honor the memory of the late cardiologist Brian A. McGovern, MD, with the presentation of three awards in his name.

MGH Cancer Center offers Lung Screenings

On July 29, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced its recommendation for screening high-risk patients for lung cancer with low-dose CT scans (LDCTs).

National experts issue statement on lung cancer screening

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends low-dose CT scans to screen high-risk patients for lung cancer.

Mass General thoracic imaging expert answers questions about lung cancer screening

Director of Thoracic Imaging and Intervention in the Mass General Department of Radiology, Dr. Jo-Anne Shepard explains what the recent lung cancer screening recommendations mean for patients.

National experts publish final lung cancer screening recommendations

With implications for insurance coverage, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual low-dose CT scans to reduce lung cancer deaths.

Radiological Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696

Phone: 617-724-4256
Fax: 617-724-0046

Radiological Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696

Phone: 617-724-4256
Fax: 617-724-0046

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