Patients who are born with a bicuspid aortic valve have 2 flaps in their cardiac valve instead of 3 – and researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Calgary are planning a 5-year study to evaluate an imaging approach for preventing the complications of this genetic condition.
With a $3.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, the team plans to use 4D-Flow MRI to visualize 3D blood flow in real time and analyze tissue to develop a personalized treatment for patients with BAV.
“Not all BAV patients are the same, yet they are currently treated the same when it comes to timing and extent of surgery,” Paul Fedak said in prepared remarks. “Through this study we can give clinicians and surgeons the tools they need to create precise, individualized treatment plans for patients.”
“Each patient’s condition is unique. We are developing state of the art MRI techniques to help with the assessment of their condition to develop the best plan of treatment,” Alex Barker added. “The use of this novel imaging technology can provide a better understanding of the underlying cause of aortic aneurysms in addition to identifying the patients who are most at risk of complications.”
The NIH grant will enable the researchers to analyze tissue in a 450-patient group over the next 5 years, according to the team.