The research interests of Christopher V. DeSimone, M.D., Ph.D., include exploring innovative techniques and approaches to understand the cardiac electroanatomic and electrophysiologic basis of ventricular fibrillation. His investigations are focused especially on catheter design for mapping and ablation of this arrhythmia.
Dr. DeSimone combines translational cardiac fibrillation studies to provide an innovative approach to mapping and ablating persistent atrial fibrillation. Specifically, he uses a combination of unique vantage points, electroanatomic 3D mapping phenomena for targeted and iterative ablation, and new energy sources such as pulsed-field electroporation.
Dr. DeSimone also investigates the innovation and development of catheter designs and construction for mapping and ablation of extracardiac diseases.
- Mapping and ablation of ventricular fibrillation. Dr. DeSimone collaborates with Mayo Clinic experts Samuel J. Asirvatham, M.D., and Christopher J. McLeod, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D., as well as Alena Tolkacheva, Ph.D., at the University of Minnesota. Together, they are implementing a multidisciplinary and specialty electrophysiologic and bioengineering approach to develop and decipher the roles of ventricular tissue and His-Purkinje conduction tissue in the maintenance of ventricular fibrillation. Their goal is to leverage catheter design for mapping and ablation of this rhythm.
- Mapping and ablation of persistent atrial fibrillation. Dr. DeSimone works with Drs. Asirvatham and Tolkacheva to develop a multispecialty approach toward advancing therapies for persistent atrial fibrillation. Their focus is on the development of specialized mapping tools for atrial fibrillation from new novel vantage points. In addition, they take an innovative approach using novel energy sources in combination with an iterative approach to 3D, electroanatomic and dynamic physiologic mapping and ablation.
Outcomes of catheter ablation in understudied populations. Dr. DeSimone uses data from Mayo Clinic's ablation practice to evaluate and study outcomes of patient groups that are not well represented in randomized controlled clinical trials. This work is done in close collaboration with Abhishek J. Deshmukh, M.B.B.S., at Mayo Clinic.
They study the outcomes of large patient cohorts to evaluate procedural benefits and risks, and to work toward establishing best practices in optimizing procedures for patients with cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, and rare disorders such as carcinoid syndrome.
- Outcomes and bleeding risks in patients with atrial fibrillation and cerebral amyloid angiopathy. Dr. DeSimone works with a multidisciplinary group that includes cardiologists David R. Holmes Jr., M.D., and Dr. Asirvatham, and neurovascular stroke specialists Alejandro A. Rabinstein, M.D., and Jonathan Graff-Radford, M.D. The group focuses on understanding outcomes in patients who are at high risk of stroke and bleeding due to amyloid angiopathies in their brains. These studies evaluate the outcomes of patients receiving anti-platelet and anti-thrombotic therapy, and left atrial occlusion devices. Because these patients are not included in clinical trials, these studies are critical for developing best practice measures.
Significance to patient care
Ventricular fibrillation is life-threatening and is a common etiology for sudden cardiac death. There is no cure for this disease due to the poor understanding of the elements necessary to sustain this rhythm. Specific ablation targeting the critical substrate for this rhythm may provide a means to treat this disease.
Persistent atrial fibrillation severely impairs quality of life, and ablation outcomes using current technology are poor. Dr. DeSimone's work to develop new tools for dynamic mapping and ablation may enhance the therapeutic armamentarium.
- President's Discovery Translation Program Award, Mayo Clinic, 2022