In This Video
- Eric Isslebacher, MD, is the director of Mass General's Healthcare Transformation Lab and co-director of the Thoracic Aortic Center
- Here, he discusses his team's approach to clinically understanding thoracic aortic disease by leveraging imaging, research and basic science components
Eric Isslebacher, MD, is the director of Mass General's Healthcare Transformation Lab and co-director of the Thoracic Aortic Center. In this video, discusses his team's approach to clinically understanding thoracic aortic disease by leveraging imaging, research and basic science components.
My interest in thoracic aortic disease dates back to when I was a trainee, a medical resident actually, in the emergency room. I took care of a patient who presented with symptoms that were very consistent with something called an acute aortic dissection. In fact, I was convinced the patient had that abnormality. I sent him for a diagnostic study called an aortogram and the radiologist told me that he didn't have it.
For me that was problematic because I was convinced that he did and ultimately, I managed to prove that that's what he had and I sent him for surgery. But it really bothered me that we didn't know enough about the disease to diagnose it accurately, and it started my interest in figuring out how can we do this better; how can we more accurately recognize these conditions, diagnose them and treat them.
Some of the things that we're doing at the Mass General Thoracic Aortic Center, which sets us apart from many of the other programs in the country, is we are really connecting the clinical understanding of thoracic aortic disease with both the imaging and the research component, the basic science component.
We have an investigator on our team named Mark Lindsay, who studies the pathophysiology of thoracic aortic aneurysms, basically the genetics, the metabolomics, trying to understand the underlying mechanisms that genetic abnormalities end up leading to thoracic aortic aneurysms. We are collecting tissue samples in the OR, combining that with clinical data, genetics data and collectively, with a library of all of that data, trying to better understand the fundamental abnormalities that lead patients to develop aneurysms and to see if we can better risk stratify those patients to figure which patients are at greatest risk and need early intervention.
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