Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)
Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

Cardiovascular Imaging Network at Queen's

Dr. Amer Johri demonstrating a 3D ultrasound produced

The Cardiovascular Imaging Network at Queen’s (CINQ) was founded by Dr. Amer Johri, who serves as its Director. Dr. Johri is a cardiologist and Heart and Stroke Foundation Clinician Scientist (Career Award, Phase I).  Currently, CINQ acts as a hub for a multi-site team of dozens of researchers, with a focus on the translation of novel cardiovascular imaging and treatment technologies to clinical practice. In particular, CINQ focuses on ultrasound imaging technology. The group has a three-pronged approach integrating research at the bench on novel methods of heart disease diagnosis and treatment with the clinical innovation of point-of-care cardiac and vascular ultrasound, as well as, an emphasis on the education and training of the next generation of clinical scientists in these advanced and innovative cardiac and vascular imaging techniques. Recently, Dr. Johri’s group published findings demonstrating that 3D ultrasound produced better images than 2D methods for plaque visualization (build up of cholesterol deposits in the vessels that are the cause of heart attacks and strokes). Their group is also currently working with ER physicians to assess the value of point-of-care ultrasound in patients presenting to the ER with chest pain. These tools may help to enhance the risk stratification of patients, potentially impacting wait times and crowding in the ER and cardiovascular clinic settings.

Dr. Johri and the CINQ group are now looking, beyond quantification of plaque to look at the internal composition of plaque. One way to look at the composition of plaque is by exploiting “hidden signals” that can be unmasked from ultrasound images of these lesions. These signals are called radiofrequency signals. Through a collaboration with Dr. Parvin Mousavi, Director of the Medical Informatics Lab at Queen’s School of Computing, the investigators have launched a project, funded by the recent John R. Evans Leaders Fund, to purchase a commercial carotid ultrasound machine. Working closely with the manufacturer, the co-investigators will customize the circuitry so as to improve signal analysis in order to collect more qualitative data about plaque composition (such as radiofrequency signals) which could investigate the plaque tissue types associated with increased cardiovascular risk. This would allow the research team to identify ‘vulnerable lesions’ and subsequently identify the ‘vulnerable patient’- those at most risk of cardiovascular disease and events such as heart attacks and stroke.

Funded by CFI

CINQ lab activities and contact information can be found at: www.CINQLab.com