As a practicing interventional and diagnostic neuroradiologist, Brian W. Chong, M.D., has a research focus that involves the spectrum of neuroimaging and neurointervention. His early work focused on MRI-based studies of developmental anatomy, pathology and distinguishing variants of anatomy from pathology. His later publications have focused on the clinical aspects of neurointerventional therapies for stroke, carotid and cerebral revascularization, as well as arteriovenous malformation (AVM) embolization.
Dr. Chong's laboratory work has focused on cerebral aneurysm geometry, the effect of geometry on blood flow, and how best to translate this knowledge to the clinic. He patented the resultant intellectual property and developed it into a simulation platform, which is currently used to treat patients with life-threatening brain aneurysms. He and his collaborators have augmented the platform with a machine-learning-based algorithm to automate detection of brain aneurysms on MRI and CT imaging. This makes it possible to find and track the growth of these small asymptomatic cerebral aneurysms. With numerous collaborators, he has also pioneered the development and validation of the clinical utility of a novel gel embolization material. This will be used to treat vascular malformation of the brain and body.
- The interaction of cerebral aneurysm geometry and blood flow with endovascular devices. Dr. Chong and his collaborators have studied the effect of devices used to treat brain aneurysms — such as stents and platinum coils — on blood flow in and around the aneurysm. He has used these findings to help doctors choose the best device and then plan surgery virtually, before the operation is performed on the patient.
- Diagnosis and treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Along with other researchers from academic institutions and the private sector, Dr. Chong has created an AI platform, approved by the Food and Drug Administration, to diagnose small cerebral aneurysms and track their growth. Use of this AI platform will allow doctors to best determine if and when treatment of an aneurysm should be undertaken.
- Diagnosis and treatment of acute ischemic stroke. Dr. Chong has collaborated with other national leaders in stroke treatment to devise best-practice guidelines for telestroke therapy.
- Embolic materials for treatment of AVMs. Dr. Chong participated with a multidisciplinary team of researchers led by Rahmi Oklu, M.D., Ph.D., to create a novel gel embolic agent that can be used to treat AVMs in the body and the brain.
Significance to patient care
Various endovascular devices and other technologies have been available to treat stroke, brain aneurysms and vascular malformations. However, determining when to treat such diseases and which method is best suited to an individual patient is not always known. Dr. Chong's work has been directed toward assisting doctors and their teams with establishing which treatment is best for each individual patient and how to optimize treatment with preoperative virtual simulation.