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About the Clinic

Our clinic—a collaborative effort of the Neurology Department, Heart Center, Division of Hematology and Oncology and Mass General for Children Pediatric Hematology & Oncology—is one of the few of its kind in the United States. We have expertise in evaluating and treating conditions such as:

  • Disorders related to congenital heart conditions in both adult and pediatric patients (e.g. patent foramen ovale [PFO] or septal defects). Pediatric patients are evaluated by the Mass General for Children Pediatric Stroke Service
  • Stroke related to PFO, dilated cardiomyopathies, cardiac valvular diseases or paradoxical emboli (a clot from the right side of the heart)
  • PFO and migraine
  • Conditions and arteriopathies related to both the heart and vascular system
  • Peripheral venous thrombotic disorders (e.g. May-Thurner syndrome)
  • Cerebral venous sinus thromboses
  • Clotting disorders (e.g. antiphospholipid antibody syndrome

A Clinical & Research Focus on Brain-Heart Related Neurovascular Injury 

Ferdinando Buonanno, MD and MingMing Ning, MD, the world's leading experts in PFO, founded the CardioNeurology Clinic in 2005.

In 2002, Dr. Buonanno also cofounded the Pediatric Stroke Service. He is now director emeritus actively mentoring and participating in NIH sponsored brain-heart related research.

Dr. Ning and the cardio-neurology team have published a number of important papers on this condition, including:
  • Michael D, Martin KC, Seger R, Ning MM, Baston R, Kandel ER. Repeated pulses of serotonin required for long-term facilitation activate mitogen-activated protein kinase in sensory neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1998;95(4):1864-9.
  • Greenberg SM, Eng JA, Ning MM, Smith EE, Rosand J. Hemorrhage burden predicts recurrent intracerebral hemorrhage after lobar hemorrhage. Stroke. 2004;35(6):1415-20.
  • Ning M, Furie KL, Koroshetz WJ, Lee H, Barron M, Lederer M, Wang X, Zhu M, Sorensen AG, Lo EH, Kelly PJ. Association between tPA therapy and raised early matrix metalloproteinase-9 in acute stroke. Neurology. 2006 May 23;66(10):1550-5. doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000216133.98416.b4. PMID: 16717217
  • Ning M, Gonzalez RG. Stroke Expert Case. New England Journal of Medicine 2013;369:1736-174
  • Deng W, Yin S, McMullin D, Inglessis-Azuaje I, Elmariah S, Hung J, Lo EH, Palacios IF, Buonanno FS, Ning M. Residual Shunt after Patent Foramen Ovale Closure and Long-Term Stroke Recurrence: A Prospective Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med. 2020;172(11):717-25
  • Deng W, McMullin D, Inglessis-Azuaje I, Locascio JJ, Palacios IF, Buonanno FS, Lo EH, Ning M. Effect of Patent Foramen Ovale Closure after Stroke on Circulatory Biomarkers. Neurology. 2021;97(2):203-14.
  • Deng W, Mansour M, Song B, Hou H, Liu K, Xu Y, McMullin D, Buonanno FS, Lo EH, Ning M. Fall Outcomes With Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion vs Direct Oral Anticoagulants for Atrial Fibrillation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2023 Jul 25;82(4):379-381. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2023.05.032. PMID: 37468192.
Dr. Ning now serves as director of this clinic. The clinic has an innovative Brain/Heart-Music/Art Program since 2008 to help patients get better using music. Dr. Ning also established and now directs the Clinical Proteomics Research Center at Mass General. The CardioNeurology Clinic and Clinical Proteomics Research Center are committed to understanding brain-heart conditions such as PFO to tailor the very best treatments for every patient.