Sjaastad group:
Advanced translational cardiac imaging

The aim of our group is to develop new advanced cardiac imaging tools, to exploit these and understand the remodelling process occurring in cardiac diseases, and search for new imaging biomarkers predicting adverse disease outcome.

During cardiac disease, the heart is exposed to various stress factors, such as hypertension, ischemia and infarction. This results in both structural and functional remodelling of the heart. However, the these processes are complex and result in a large variety of phenotypes. Additionally, available imaging techniques have limited capability to identify the details in structural and functional cardiac remodelling. Accordingly, robust imaging biomarkers of cardiac disease progression are lacking.

Over the last years we have explored the potential of tissue phased mapping, a MR technique, to offer high resolution functional imaging of the heart. This technique has the capability to advance cardiac imaging directly by offering new biomarkers of disease entities, but also to facilitate the development of new imaging techniques such as cardiac elastography. We are working to establish elastography as a 3D technique to identify myocardial stiffness, which primarily is a result of fibrosis. We are also using other techniques, such as T1 mapping and diffusion tensor imaging, to investigate myocardial structure. Additionally, we are using mathematical remodelling to integrate our imaging data to understand the underlying pathological processes, and identify new imaging biomarkers of cardiac syndroms, such as diastolic dysfunction.

Our group is translating new concepts and techniques from preclinical use to human imaging. We are running several clinical studies, investigating for instance biomarkers for early detection of fibrosis, 3D parameters of diastolic dysfunction, and effects of various diseases (such as kidney failure) on cardiac function.

The group leader is professor Ivar Sjaastad, which is a cardiologist. Group members have diverse academic background, such as clinical medicine, physics, mathematics, molecular biology and radiology. We are collaborating with leading national research groups in cardiology, radiology, nuclear medicine, cancer medicine, various clinical specialities, physics and mathematics. Also, our international collaborators are at the highest level, located at for instance the Mayo clinic, KU Leuven and University of Chicago.

Group Leader

Ivar Sjaastad

Group Leader & Professor & Senior Consultant

Group members

Bård Andre Bendiksen

Doctoral Research Fellow

Birgit Nomeland Witczak

Doctoral Research Fellow

Emil Espe

Postdoctoral fellow

Haelin Kim

Research Technician

Henriette Schermacher Marstein

Doctoral Research Fellow

Henrik Dukefoss

Doctoral Research Fellow

Ida Marie Hauge-Iversen

Doctoral Research Fellow

Kasper Klausen

Specialist engineer

Kjersti Blom

Doctoral Research Fellow

Lili Zhang

Senior Engineer

Lisa Smith

Postdoctoral fellow

Markus Borge Harbo

Doctoral Research Fellow

Mohammed Almashhadani

Medical Research Curriculum Student

Yasmin Donnabel Reyes

Doctoral Research Fellow

Latest publications

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Blom KB, Kro GB, Midtvedt K, Jenssen TG, Reisæter AV, Rollag H, Hartmann A, Sagedal S, Sjaastad I, Tylden G, Njølstad G, Nilsen E, Birkeland JA, Åsberg A (2024)
Cellular immunity against cytomegalovirus and risk of infection after kidney transplantation
Front Immunol, 15, 1414830
PubMed 39007131 DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2024.1414830
Hauge-Iversen IM, Espe E (2024)
Editorial for "Impact of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus on Left Atrioventricular Coupling and Left Atrial Deformation in Patients With Essential Hypertension: An MRI Feature Tracking Study"
J Magn Reson Imaging
PubMed 38887801 DOI 10.1002/jmri.29472
Ruud M, Frisk M, Melleby AO, Norseng PA, Mohamed BA, Li J, Aronsen JM, Setterberg IE, Jakubiczka J, van Hout I, Coffey S, Shen X, Nygård S, Lunde IG, Tønnessen T, Jones PP, Sjaastad I, Gullestad L, Toischer K, Dahl CP, Christensen G, Louch WE (2024)
Regulation of cardiomyocyte t-tubule structure by preload and afterload: Roles in cardiac compensation and decompensation
J Physiol
PubMed 38686538 DOI 10.1113/JP284566
Brobak KM, Halvorsen LV, Aass HCD, Søraas CL, Aune A, Olsen E, Bergland OU, Rognstad S, Blom KB, Birkeland JAK, Høieggen A, Larstorp ACK, Solbu MD (2024)
Novel biomarkers in patients with uncontrolled hypertension with and without kidney damage
Blood Press, 33 (1), 2323980
PubMed 38606688 DOI 10.1080/08037051.2024.2323980
Espe E, Stokke MK (2024)
Editorial for "MRI Assessment of Myocardial Deformation for Risk Stratification of Major Arrhythmic Events in Patients with Non-Ischemic Cardiomyopathy Eligible for Primary Prevention Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators"
J Magn Reson Imaging
PubMed 38358060 DOI 10.1002/jmri.29300
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