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Research at Mass General
Researchers at Mass General are leading the first optical coherence tomography (OCT) registry, an international database of 3,000 patients who have received OCT. Optical coherence tomography is an intravascular imaging technique that may help physicians identify the vulnerable plaques that lead to heart attacks or sudden cardiac death.
To build the OCT registry, we are partnering with 20 prominent institutions internationally. Using information gathered from the registry, it is our goal to provide knowledge that will help doctors prevent heart attacks and sudden cardiac death. We are also evaluating the possibility of using OCT to prevent late catastrophic complications of stenting.
By creating extremely high-resolution images from within the artery, OCT can pinpoint the microscopic characteristics of a vulnerable plaque, as opposed to intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), which is more widely used, but has a lower resolution. Currently OCT is the only intravascular imaging technique with the resolution sufficient (approximately 10 µm) to delineate fine structures, such as thin fibrous caps and to characterize plaque types, such as lipid rich plaque. We have also discovered that OCT can detect subtle structural changes after PCI, such as plaque disruption including tissue prolapse and protrusion with high sensitivity.
The Mass General Cardiac OCT Research Laboratory are pioneers in the use of optical coherence tomography to view coronary arteries at an unprecedented level. Over the past two decades, we have led the way in using this technology by:
The Massachusetts General Hospital Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Registry is led by a team of world class researchers who have devoted their careers to pioneering OCT imaging. Meet the team behind the OCT registry, including:
Ik-Kyung Jang, MD, PhD
Ik-Kyung Jang, MD, PhD is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Cardiology Laboratory for Integrative Physiology and Imaging (CLIPI) at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Jang came to Massachusetts General Hospital in 1987 from Leuven University in Belgium, where he has completed his residency in medicine and fellowship in cardiology. He also successfully defended his doctorate thesis at the same university. After his advanced fellowship in cardiology at Mass General, he joined the staff and is currently working as a physician and an interventional cardiologist in the Cardiology Division.
His research interest has been acute coronary syndromes including acute myocardial infarction. His earlier research focused on pharmacology and physiology of thrombosis and thrombolysis including thrombin hypothesis and platelet inhibition. For the last twelve years he has pioneered the application of intravascular Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to patients to better characterize coronary plaques and to understand the mechanisms of plaque rupture. Dr. Jang was the first to perform intravascular OCT procedure in a patient. In addition, he was the principal investigator for the recent US multicenter OCT trial. Dr. Jang has been invited to lectures at numerous national and international meetings. His publications number more than 200.
Hang Lee, PhD
Hang Lee, PhD, is the study statistician of the OCT Registry. He is the lead statistician for the Harvard Catalyst Biostatistics Program at Mass General and the Mass General Division of Clinical Research Biostatistics Unit, and he serves as the primary statistician for the Gynecologic Oncology Program at Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center. Dr. Lee is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and has experience in a wide range of collaborative research. He is also the statistical editor for the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (JASE). His statistical expertise is in longitudinal data, statistical genetics, clinical trials design and complex data analysis, and he has authored and co-authored over 250 clinical study articles.
Erika Yamamoto, MD, PhD
Erika Yamamoto, MD, PhD, is a research fellow who joined our lab from Kyoto University in Japan. Dr. Yamamoto received her MD in 2006 and PhD in cardiovascular medicine in 2015. Now she is working on investigating the association between plaque erosion and endothelial shear stress and clinical predictors of plaque erosion.
Tomoyo Sugiyama, MD, PhD
Tomoyo Sugiyama, MD, PhD is a research fellow who came from Tokyo Medical and Dental University to work with Dr. Jang. Before she joined our group, she was working as a staff interventional cardiologist in Japan. Her main research interest is clarifying the underlying mechanisms of calcified plaque as an underlying pathology for acute coronary syndromes.
Francesco Fracassi, MD
Francesco Fracassi, MD, is a research fellow from the Catholic University of Rome. He completed his Cardiology training at the Catholic University teaching hospital Policlinico “Agostino Gemelli” in Rome in July 2017 and came to Massachusetts General Hospital in September 2017. He mainly focuses on investigating the mechanism of plaque healing and the clinical significance of acute coronary syndrome and mechanisms of plaque progression.
Greg Gheewalla, BS
Greg Gheewalla received his BS in Biochemistry from Tufts University in 2018. In 2017, he joined the Cardiovascular Research Center to work under Dr. Ik-Kyung Jang as clinical research coordinator. As the clinical research coordinator and data manager, Greg communicates with sites around the world and manages the data received through the registry.
Osamu Kurihara, MD, PhD
Osamu Kurihara, MD, PhD, came from Nippon Medical School in Japan. Dr. Kurihara received his MD in 2007 and has been working at Nippon Medical School Chiba Hokusoh Hospital as a staff interventional cardiologist. His focus is plaque characteristics and metabolic disorders.
Hyung Oh Kim, MD
Hyung Oh Kim, MD, came from Kyung Hee Medical Center in South Korea in August 2018. Dr. Kim finished his clinical training in cardiology. His current research interest is endothelial shear stress and computational fluid dynamics using optical coherence tomography.
Vikas Thondapu, MD
Vikas Thondapu, MD received his MD from Drexel University in 2010, he completed residency in internal medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital. His PhD research in biomedical engineering, undertaken at the University of Melbourne, Australia, used a combination of optical coherence tomography and computational fluid dynamics to investigate novel indices of blood flow disturbances as markers of coronary atherosclerosis and complications after stent implantation. He joined our group in September 2018. His research focus is endothelial shear stress and plaque characteristics.
Michele Russo, MD
Michele Russo, MD received his MD in July 2014 from the University “Gabriele D’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara (Italy). He has been in training at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart - Policlinico “Agostino Gemelli” - in Rome (Italy) since November 2015. He joined our group in September 2018. His research focus is the relationship and clinical significance of plaque healing in non-culprit regions.
To build the registry, we have partnered with researchers at world class academic medical centers, such as:
Massachusetts General Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Registry
Contact Greg Gheewalla, BS, OCT Data Manager, for more information about the registry or to learn how to participate in this research initiative.
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