Noninvasive imaging has benefited from technical advances that might allow it to play a pivotal role in cardiovascular diagnosis and patient management. Most notably, advanced imaging modalities have great potential for noninvasive characterization of coronary atherosclerosis as well as quantification of myocardial perfusion.
Motivating national and international collaboration is one of the central aims of our working group. We have initiated two international multicontinental consortia that perform exciting research on cardiovascular imaging in patients with suspected coronary artery disease (COME-CCT) and patients who already have coronary stents (COME-CSI).
Very recently, Prof. Marc Dewey’s working group received an EU Framework grant for the DISCHARGE project. This group of 30 academic partners from 18 countries is coordinated by Marc Dewey and will allow the investigators to raise awareness among patients, health care providers, and decision-makers about the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of coronary CT angiography.
Below you can find a selection of our recent and current research projects:
2020 – 2023 Radiomics: Next Generation of Biomedical Imaging
Priority Programme Radiomics for the investigation of coronary flow.
Background and Objectives: Coronary artery plaques may lead to cardiovascular events and there is early evidence that noninvasive detection of vulnerable plaque features on computed tomography (CT) and subsequent changes in medical management may lead to improved outcomes. CT is an increasingly used test in patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) and is the best noninvasive imaging test to capture three-dimensional information about plaques in all coronary artery segments in one examination. The quantitative results of image analysis will be made available as a database with cardiovascular events.Anticipated Gain of Knowledge: We anticipate novel insights into the association of coronary plaque features with prognosis of stable chest pain patients which will strengthen the clinical implications of radiomics analysis and deep learning of coronary CT. Ultimately, this will allow identifying patients prone to suffer myocardial infarction and testing the validity and generalisability of advanced coronary CT plaque analysis using data from the population-based SCAPIS project of more than 25000 asymptomatic individuals which will have long-term follow-up data for the second three-year funding period.
SPP (Priority Program) Radiomics Plaque: https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/428222922
SPP Radiomics Flow: https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/428223139
Since 2018 Fractal Analysis Project
The DFG-project “Fractal Analysis” driven by Prof. Dr. Marc Dewey and Dr. Florian Michallek as well as the Mercator Fellowship Professor Kakuya Kitagawa.
The project “Fractal Analysis of Myocardial Ischemia” of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) applied successfully for a Mercator-Fellow – the first ever in Radiology. Kakuya Kitagawa, MD, PhD, of the Department of Radiology at the Mie University Hospital in Japan will be supporting the project with his expertise and his international perspective. The DFG-project “Fractal Analysis” was proposed by Prof. Dr. Marc Dewey and Dr. Florian Michallek from the department of Radiology at Charité. The researchers want to develop a method to examine the causes of chronic ischaemic heart disease in a better and non-invasive way. They investigate if fractal analysis is a comprehensive perfusion analysis method (Figure 1). “We are looking forward to the scientific contribution of Kakuya to this project as he is one of the most renown experts on multimodality myocardial perfusion imaging worldwide.” says Prof. Dewey and Dr. Michallek explains “The Mercator-Fellowship Programme allows on the one hand to involve the distinguished expertise of Prof. Kitagawa for the project and on the other hand to synthesise a highly interesting and multi-centric dataset.”
More information: https://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/392304398
2017-2021 BIOCIQ – BIOphysical Quantitative Imaging Towards Clinical Diagnosis
The BIOQIC research program will advance medical imaging methods towards the system-independent quantification of the constitution and structure of soft tissues. In-depth training will be provided through block courses in ‘Imaging Physics & Chemistry’, ‘Biophysics & Biomechanics’ and ‘Mathematics & Signal Processing’. The program is specifically designed to provide training in imaging sciences and to enhance skills for becoming an independent researcher.
Since 2017 – 2018 BIH Digital Health Innovator Program
For Digital Health Innovators at BIH, Charité and MDC.
The BIH Digital Health Accelerator Program supports all employees from research and clinical departments of the Charité including the BIH in developing digital health solutions from their innovative ideas and transferring them to patients in medical applications or to the healthcare market.
Our working definition of Digital Health is the convergence of digital technologies such as 3D printing, augmented/mixed/virtual reality, machine learning/artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors and software with life sciences and healthcare. While the boundary with medical technology, diagnostics, etc. is sometimes blurred; key is the presence of digital technology and data use as core components of the innovation.
Participating project teams advance through the Digital Health Accelerator program along a structured process for iterative product development supported by:
- Funding (including Protected Time for a fraction of time off from the clinic).
- Mentoring by high-profile national and international experts Access to networks (talents, development partners, industry, investors)
- Interdisciplinary BIH DHA team BIH Digital Labs co-working space near the Charité Campus Mitte.
2014-2020 EU DISCHARGE project
The Discharge Project will examine for which patients with suspected coronary artery disease, cardiac computed tomography (CT) or cardiac catheterisation is best suited. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in high-income countries. It is associated with a reduced blood flow in the coronary arteries that supply the heart with oxygen. Cardiac CT is a non-invasive diagnostic method. The patient would be exposed to lower risks and the examination is less burdensome.
Update 04. March 2022:
The results of the primary outcome of the DISCHARGE trial are finally published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Thank you to all who helped and participated, especially the many patients without whom this research would not have been possible.
“CoMeCSI Consortium- Collaborative Meta-Analysis of Coronary Stent Imaging“
Clinical Assessment of Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography: Collaborative Meta-Analysis of Individual Patient Data from Prospective Diagnostic Accuracy Studies“
“Prediction of Claustrophobia during MR imaging”
“Meta-Analysis of noninvasive coronary angiography using multislice computed tomography for detection of coronary in-stent restenosis”.
2011-2012 German Heart Foundation and German Foundation for Heart Research:
“Evaluation of coronary atherosclerosis using 320-row CT and comparison with urine proteome analysis“
2009-2020 Toshiba Medical Systems:
2010-2012 Hypatia Program:
“Reduction of Claustrophobia during MR imaging”