Eric E. Williamson, M.D., conducts research focused on advancing understanding of how the unique capabilities of ECG-gated computerized tomography (CT) can be applied to the cardiovascular system.
As co-directors of Mayo Clinic's Structural Heart Disease Imaging Lab, Dr. Williamson and his colleague, Shuai Leng, Ph.D., use advanced CT techniques to image the characteristics of disorders that affect the structure of the heart tissue or cardiac valves. Their current work involves a team of physicians, medical physicists, CT technologists and post-processing experts who are developing a comprehensive model of the cardiac remodeling that occurs during the development and subsequent treatment of mitral regurgitation. This investigation involves a porcine model of primary and functional mitral regurgitation, 3D-printed models for prosthesis deployment, and clinical imaging of selected patients.
- Animal model of primary mitral regurgitation. Work with interventional cardiology team to develop and characterize a porcine model of primary mitral prolapse.
- Animal model of functional mitral regurgitation. Work with interventional cardiology team to develop and characterize a porcine model of mitral prolapse due to ischemic heart disease.
- Anatomical modeling of mitral regurgitation. Develop 3D-printed models to simulate physical conditions of mitral prosthetic deployment.
- Finite element analysis for simulation of prosthetic deployment. Work with department of engineering to develop simulation tools to predict complications associated with mitral valve prostheses.
- Cardiac remodeling after surgical repair of mitral prolapse. Use pre- and postoperative CT data from patients who have undergone surgical repair of mitral prolapse to characterize cardiac remodeling after surgical treatment.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Williamson's long-term objective is to use advanced imaging and anatomical modeling techniques to enable catheter-guided mitral valve replacement using patient-specific prostheses. The goal is to determine the appropriate imaging approach to guide valve deployment and predict outcomes after treatment. Dr. Williamson will accomplish this goal by using advanced visualization tools to evaluate images generated using multiphase ECG-gated CT.
These post-processing tools will be supplemented with advanced 3D printing techniques and finite element analysis to predict outcomes of valve deployment. Finally, the novel large-animal model of mitral regurgitation will allow Dr. Williamson and his colleagues to assess initial prosthetic fit and longer term valve adequacy during cardiac remodeling. The results of these studies will allow rational design of patient- and disease-specific prostheses to treat a wide range of causes of mitral regurgitation.