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The research of Heidi M. Connolly, M.D., includes identifying the challenges and complications in caring for patients with complex congenital and genetic cardiovascular disorders. Dr. Connolly studies how to improve patient care and better understand the short- and long-term outcomes of care protocols.
She studies pregnancy complications and outcomes in patients with cardiovascular diseases to identify opportunities for improving their care. She also is interested in identifying, describing and seeking improved treatment options for patients with:
Outcomes and complications of congenital cardiac disorders. Dr. Connolly leads a multidisciplinary clinical and research team that, among other research activities, seeks to develop new diagnostic and management strategies for patients with the most complex forms of congenital and genetic heart diseases.
Her team's groundbreaking analysis of the clinical features, hemodynamic profiles and outcomes of care improves patient therapy. The team identifies comorbid conditions and treatment strategies for patients with these diverse disorders.
Dr. Connolly collaborates with Alexander C. Egbe, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., and William R. Miranda, M.D., on this research.
Bioprosthetic valve thrombosis. Dr. Connolly and colleagues study the characteristics and risk factors for developing bioprosthetic valve thrombosis. They are conducting a comprehensive assessment of clinical features, imaging and pathology reviews. This includes identifying, collecting and describing the first series of patients with this disorder and reporting the first series of patients treated successfully with warfarin.
The team's description led to subsequent research identifying and successfully treating similar patients with warfarin. A subsequent institutional series served as the initial patient cohort. Dr. Connolly served as the senior investigator or co-investigator in these studies describing affected patients.
Recognizing bioprosthetic valve thrombosis and describing a successful medical treatment option has changed how patients with newly implanted or dysfunctional bioprosthetic valves are currently managed at Mayo Clinic and many other institutions. Dr. Connolly collaborates with Dr. Egbe and Sorin V. Pislaru, M.D., Ph.D., on this research.
Marfan syndrome. Dr. Connolly leads the imaging analysis for an ongoing international study looking at the outcome of surgical intervention for patients with Marfan syndrome. Her goal is to identify the optimal management strategy for patients with Marfan syndrome who are undergoing aortic operations.
This research compares composite valve replacement versus valve sparing operations. The resulting data have improved the understanding of these treatment options as well as short- and long-term patient outcomes.
Dr. Connolly's clinical observations and subsequent research have affected patient care in various ways, including:
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