Narayan (Guru) G. Kowlgi, M.B.B.S., is a board-certified cardiologist who specializes in invasive cardiac electrophysiology and has experience performing complex catheter ablations for atrial and ventricular arrhythmias.
Dr. Kowlgi's research endeavors focus on developing novel energy sources for ablation. This includes the application of high-voltage direct current energy for creating cellular injury, called electroporation, and radioablation using proton beam and photon beam therapy. Dr. Kowlgi is invested in developing ablation techniques that target the autonomic nervous system to treat arrhythmias, such as neurocardiogenic syncope, atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation. He conducts translational research to better understand the mechanisms of arrhythmias and procedural innovation. Dr. Kowlgi is completing a master's course on artificial intelligence (AI) in health care and leads projects with the AI team at Mayo Clinic to enhance risk prediction and treatment of complex cardiac arrhythmias.
- Autonomic modulation for arrhythmias. Dr. Kowlgi is involved in trials studying innovative techniques for cardioneural ablation. These procedures can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including neurocardiogenic syncope, atrial fibrillation and ventricular fibrillation. He conducts translational studies to identify targets to treat inappropriate sinus tachycardia. He collaborates with Samuel J. Asirvatham, M.D.
- Novel energy sources for large lesion creation. Dr. Kowlgi led multiple translational studies of electroporation. He is the co-principal investigator for a phase 1 clinical trial studying first-in-human use of proton beam ablation to treat refractory ventricular tachycardia. He collaborates with Douglas L. Packer, M.D.
- Artificial intelligence in electrophysiology. Dr. Kowlgi is enrolled in a two-year master's program in artificial intelligence for health care. His thesis research involves training neural networks to detect subclinical cardiomyopathy in patients with frequent premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) and to perform localization of PVCs to assist in ablation procedures. He collaborates with Paul A. Friedman, M.D., and Itzhak Zachi Attia, Ph.D.
- Arrhythmia-induced cardiomyopathy. Research has already established that a wide variety of arrhythmias can lead to cardiomyopathy. These include premature ventricular contractions, ventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter and atrial tachycardia. Dr. Kowlgi performed a series of translational and clinical studies to elucidate the pathophysiology of cardiomyopathy caused by premature ventricular contractions.
- Arrhythmias in athletes and genetic channelopathies. Dr. Kowlgi has a keen interest in arrhythmias in athletes and works closely with experts in sports cardiology and genetic cardiology at Mayo Clinic to study patient outcomes. He collaborates with Michael J. Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Kowlgi strives to improve the care of patients who have complex ventricular arrhythmias, particularly those with deep intramural substrate for which standard energy sources are not completely effective. Development of novel energy sources, coupled with AI tools and simultaneous computer simulation of ablation lesions, will help transform the care of these patients.
Dr. Kowlgi also aims to master techniques for modulation of the autonomic nervous system that can have various applications in arrhythmias. His team's work will help establish novel treatments for conditions such as neurocardiogenic syncope and inappropriate sinus tachycardia.
- Visiting professor, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2023.
- American College of Cardiology.
- Abstract reviewer, scientific sessions meetings, 2021-2023.
- Featured, Fellow-in-Training Spotlight, 2018.
- Featured, Heart of It campaign, 2020.
- Fellow member, ACC.20 Together With World Congress of Cardiology Program Committee, electrophysiology pathway, 2019.
- Teaching Tomorrow's Teachers program, Electrophysiology Pathway 101 Program, 2019.
- Representative, Virginia Cardiology Fellows state governing body, 2018.
- Editorial board fellow member, Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 2020.
- Featured, Heart 2 Heart Campaign: An Instagram social media initiative highlighting the journey of the cardiologists of Instagram, 2020.
- Ohran Muren Outstanding Teaching Fellow, Internal Medicine Annual Felicitation, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2018.
- Finalist, Young Investigator Award, original clinical research poster, Scientific Sessions, Heart Rhythm Society, 2018.
- Ralph F. Reinfrank, M.D., Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Connecticut, 2015.
- Medical Intern of the Year, University of Connecticut, 2013.