PhD: ASSESSMENT OF MECHANICAL DYSSYNCHRONY AS SELECTION CRITERION FOR CRT TREATMENT

31 July 2019

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Interested?

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jens-Uwe Voigt, tel.: +3216349016, mail: jens-uwe.voigt@kuleuven.be.

You can apply for this job no later than September 30, 2019 via the online application tool.

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Apply before 30 September 2019

The PhD project will have the assessment of mechanical dyssynchrony for CRT candidate selection as main topic.

The Medical Imaging Research Center (MIRC) is a joint initiative between University and University Hospital. Researchers with both medical and technical background work together on imaging related projects in all fields of medicine. Our cardiac imaging research group has a long track record in myocardial function analysis by means of cardiac imaging, such as echocardiography, MRI and others.

The PhD student will work embedded in a team of enthusiastic researchers with both clinical and technical background who come from Belgium and many other places in the world. The promotor of the PhD project holds an FWO research mandate, allowing sufficient time for closely supervising and accompanying the progress of the PhD work.

Project

Cardiac resynchronization therapy is an accepted treatment for patients with heart failure and conduction delays, where the contraction of the left ventricular chamber is re-synchronized by means of a dedicated pacemaker device with several electrodes. Current guideline criteria for selecting patients, however, result in a non-responder rate of approximately 35%. Some studies suggest that such non-responders are even at higher risk because of an inappropriate treatment.

In the past years, the promotor of this project has worked on the characterization of specific motion and deformation patterns of the left ventricle in patient candidates for CRT by echocardiography. We could demonstrate with several retrospectives studies, including also a multi center analysis of more than 1000 patients after CRT implantation, that the presence of specific motion and deformation patterns (apical rocking, septal flash) is strongly associated with therapy success and that the predictive value of the patterns is much higher than that of current guideline criteria.

We are now planning an international,multi center, prospective, randomized study to test these patterns as patient selection criterion for CRT in comparison to current guideline criteria in order to provide strong evidence that can influence treatment recommendation of scientific societies and with this, improve patient management and outcome.

The PhD student will work in the field of imaging with close contact to colleagues from heart failure and electrophysiology. The PhD project will have the assessment of mechanical dyssynchrony for CRT candidate selection as main topic and the above mentioned multi center study will be the focus task.

Profile

We are looking for an enthusiastic young person with medical or biomedical background who is interested in imaging, myocardial function and pathophysiology of the heart. We need somebody who is accurate, reliable, and ready for teamwork and collaboration with international partners. Proficiency in English is mandatory.

Offer

We offer a four year PhD position in an international research team with a strong focus and long track record on imaging function and pathophysiology of the heart. You will get in close contact with all non-invasive cardiac imaging modalities, latest technology for image processing and analysis and latest high-end imaging equipment from most major manufacturers. You will gain experience with setting up and running large scale scientific studies, data handling, image analysis and statistics. Attending international conferences will be an integral part of your work.