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Dr Betty Raman (pictured on right, receiving her award) has won this year’s first prize in the Young Investigator Award Category at British Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging meeting which was held in Oxford.

 Dr Raman, who is a DPhil student with Dr Masliza Mahmod, Professor Stefan Neubauer and Professor Hugh Watkins, is studying a cardiac condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

‘Risk of sudden cardiac death’

HCM is the single most common genetic heart disorder across the world. It is diagnosed when there is unexplained thickening of the muscle of the left heart ventricle or the septum (the wall between separating the left and right ventricles of the heart).   

Sudden cardiac death in HCM is a feared complication but HCM patients also suffer from an increasing burden of heart failure and arrhythmia symptomatology, which can be difficult to predict.

For years, left ventricular abnormalities were thought to be the main determinant of risks in HCM but Dr Raman and her colleagues have found that the right ventricle also displays abnormalities in its contractility which are detectable on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.

Interestingly, right ventricular function in HCM has also been shown to gradually deteriorate over time on repeat imaging. Of particular importance is the finding that right ventricular impairment turns out to be a powerful independent predictor of the future risk of heart failure and rhythm disturbances in HCM patients.

 Dr Masliza Mahmod, the head of clinical trials at OCMR and senior author of the research abstract at this meeting, said, “

These findings are novel, and suggest that right ventricular function may be an early prognostic marker in HCM that could help refine risk stratification in a disease which is highly prevalent and life-threatening
- Dr Mahmod, OCMR Clinical Trials Head 


Many congratulation to Dr Raman!

(Photo credit: Mayooran Shanmuganathan)