Research Centers

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Cardiac MR PET CT Program

The Cardiac MR PET CT Program at Massachusetts General Hospital is dedicated to developing, evaluating and assessing novel imaging techniques for cardiovascular conditions.

The Cardiac MR PET CT Program is a joint basic and clinical research program supported by Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging and the Division of Cardiology. Since 2000 the program has developed into multidisciplinary effort across all adavanced noninvasive cardiovascular imaging such as CT, MR, and PET. The program brings together a group of investigators interested to develop and use these technologies to improve patient management and is lead by Dr. Udo Hoffmann (Director) and Dr. Ahmed Tawakol (Co-Director). The program is active in landmark epidemiology studies and clinical trials in cardiovascular medicine such as the Framingham Heart Study, ROMICAT II, and PROMISE (Cardiovascular Imaging Core (CVIC) Lab) and is pioneering the use of PET imaging in cardiovascular pharamaceutical trials.

Mission

The Cardiac MR-PET-CT program was established in 2000 under the leadership of Prof. Thomas J. Brady as an integrated program between cardiology and radiology at Mass General. The team of outstanding investigators is now led by Dr. Udo Hoffmann. The program plays a key role in landmark clinical trials in cardiovascular medicine such as the Framingham Heart Study, ROMICAT II and PROMISE.

The mission of the program is:

  • to foster the development and collaboration of talented and dedicated young physicians and basic scientists across various medical and technical disciplines related to cardiovascular imaging
  • to provide an environment that will enable the conduction of high quality state of the art basic, translational, and clinical outcomes research in multimodality cardiovascular imaging with an emphasis on MR, PET, and CT imaging
  • to identify and establish qualitative and quantitative imaging biomarkers for cardiovascular disease including the development and validation of new computational assessment tools # to raise awareness for the appropriate and effective use of advanced imaging techniques
  • to develop, evaluate and assess novel imaging techniques for cardiovascular applications.

 
  A) 3D Volume-rendered technique showing coronary venous anatomy B) CT stress perfusion

The CMRCT program addresses both MR and CT development and clinical applications in an effort to determine the optimal imaging approaches for cardiac patients.

Plaque imaging

An approach combining multimodality anatomic imaging by CT, OCT, IVUS, PET and histology with information on inflammation and biomechanical properties such as shear stress is warranted to define properties that may allow for the detection of vulnerable plaque. Over the last years, we have demonstrated the increasing feasibility of advanced high resolution CT imaging to detect and characterize atherosclerotic plaque. Over the next years, our goal is work with leaders in all fields and to identify a combination of various anatomic and functional markers that can predict the risk of plaque rupture and erosion as a deadly clinical event.

 
  Ex-vivo Coronary Plaque Imaging

CV imaging in epidemiological studies

Our collaboration with the Framingham Heart Study over the last 8 years has been extremely fruitful and fundamental for the understanding of the association between traditional risk factors and imaging biomarkers. The identification of new imaging risk markers such as individual plaque characteristics, pericardial and perivascular fat has contributed to a new dynamic and improvement of our understanding of mechanisms of atherosclerosis. Over the next years, we expect to be able to demonstrate the incremental value of these markers for the prediction of cardiovascular events.

 
  CT Angiography showing right coronary stenosis (arrow)

Randomized clinical trials in CV imaging

Rigorous assessment of the clinical utility of advanced cardiac imaging is mandatory to justify cost and risks of using cardiac CT and other advanced cv imaging tools. This new area of clinical trials has gained increasing importance over the last years. We are proud to be part of several ongoing multicenter randomized diagnostic trials which include ROMICAT II (multicenter randomized trial of 1000 patients with acute chest pain comparing CT with standard of care) and PROMISE (CT Core Lab for this 10,000 patient trial of stable angina). These trials will be of great importance to determine the clinical utility of imaging technology and will set the standards for cardiovascular imaging and imagers. As part of these activities we have been charged to develop novel teaching and certification tools.

Applications for Research Positions

(Accepting applications for July 2014 and July 2015)

US citizens or permanent residents who would like to be considered for the two-year T32 postdoctoral research fellowship:

US citizens or permanent residents who would like to be considered for the postdoctoral research fellowship:

Foreign applicants who are interested in the research fellowship:

Pre-medical or medical students who are interested in research opportunities:

Schedules for fellows

Current | Past Fellows and Students

Applications for Clinical Positions

For information regarding our clinical positions, please contact: Brian Ghoshhajra, MD, MBA

For further information regarding our Fellowship Program please contact:

Massachusetts General Hospital
Cardiac MR PET CT Fellowship Program
165 Cambridge St, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02114
Email: CardiacMRPETCTProgram@partners.org
Phone: 617-643-0239

Every year physicians from the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center engage in innovative research efforts. Much of this research work is published in distinguished academic journals.

Read publications from Cardiac Imaging (PDF)

Cardiac Mr Pet CT Program

Charles River Plaza
165 Cambridge Street
Suite 400
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-643-0239
Fax: 617-724-4152
Email: CardiacMRPETCTProgram@partners.org

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes