The main research interests of Hector R. Villarraga, M.D., include evaluating myocardial function by speckle tracking echocardiography, also called strain, in cardiomyopathies with normal ejection fraction and in cardio-oncology. Dr. Villarraga also develops artificial intelligence platforms to diagnose cardiomyopathies and studies the applicability of virtual reality for people with complex structural valve conditions.
Dr. Villarraga's specific areas of research focus include:
- Advanced imaging to predict the development of cardiac toxicity during chemotherapy.
- The development of heart failure during and after chemotherapy.
- The applicability of advanced imaging by echocardiography to detect early signs of myocardial dysfunction during proton and photon radiotherapy.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Villarraga's team aims to better understand how advanced imaging by echocardiography can help improve care in certain diseases. This applies to people receiving therapy for diseases such as breast cancer, Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, sarcoma, as well as those receiving proton or photon radiotherapy. This research will give health care providers more insight into starting cardio-protective medications to protect patients' hearts during such treatments.