Dr. Ling Awarded NIH Grant to Study Right Ventricle Dysfunction in Peds

November 22, 2021

Bruce Ling, PhD was awarded a grant from NIH to study right ventricle dysfunction in pediatric patients. The almost $200,000 in funding will support his project: An automated system to interpret echocardiography to predict adverse outcomes in patients with right ventricular dysfunction in daily hospital practice.

"As a PhD heading a translational medicine laboratory at Stanford, I have established a lot of collaboration with my peers of physician-scientists," said Dr. Ling. "During a brainstorming session, Drs. [Charitha Doodipala] Reddy and [Doff] McElhinney came up with the idea of leveraging our lab’s deep learning experience to solve their unmet medical needs."

Our current most common imaging modality, echocardiograms, are notoriously not great at assessing the health of the right ventricle because of its odd shape," said Dr. Reddy, a pediatric cardiologist. "We are interested in using AI and longitudinal outcomes for some of these complex patients to be able to create a more standardized and accurate approach to assessing the health of the right ventricle."

Reddy says this will have significant downstream effects in terms of surgical decision-making, decreasing healthcare costs, and other treatment management strategies.

The team will use Tetrology of Fallot (TOF) snd pulmonary hypertension (PH) as their “abnormals” to ensure the model can differentiate between volume and pressure-loaded right ventricles. According to a 2018 paper, TOF represents approximately 7%-10% of congenital heart diseases and Reddy says PH is seen quite commonly in neonates as a secondary cause.

"I think ultimately we will likely broaden to all sorts of RV pathologies," said Reddy.