Sjaastad group: Advanced translational cardiac imaging

Sjaastad group

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

Head of Department & 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

Kjersti Blom

Doctoral Research Fellow

Lili Zhang

Senior Engineer

Linn Espeland

Research Technician

Lisa Smith

Postdoctoral fellow

Markus Borge Harbo

Medical Research Curriculum Student

Mohammed Almashhadani

Medical Research Curriculum Student

Latest publications

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Lunde IG, Aronsen JM, Melleby AO, Strand ME, Skogestad J, Bendiksen BA, Ahmed MS, Sjaastad I, Attramadal H, Carlson CR, Christensen G (2022)
Cardiomyocyte-specific overexpression of syndecan-4 in mice results in activation of calcineurin-NFAT signalling and exacerbated cardiac hypertrophy
Mol Biol Rep
PubMed 36205855 DOI 10.1007/s11033-022-07985-y
Støle TP, Lunde M, Shen X, Martinsen M, Lunde PK, Li J, Lockwood F, Sjaastad I, Louch WE, Aronsen JM, Christensen G, Carlson CR (2022)
The female syndecan-4-/- heart has smaller cardiomyocytes, augmented insulin/pSer473-Akt/pSer9-GSK-3β signaling, and lowered SCOP, pThr308-Akt/Akt and GLUT4 levels
Front Cell Dev Biol, 10, 908126
PubMed 36092718 DOI 10.3389/fcell.2022.908126
Shen X, van den Brink J, Bergan-Dahl A, Kolstad TR, Norden ES, Hou Y, Laasmaa M, Aguilar-Sanchez Y, Quick AP, Espe EKS, Sjaastad I, Wehrens XHT, Edwards AG, Soeller C, Louch WE (2022)
Prolonged β-adrenergic stimulation disperses ryanodine receptor clusters in cardiomyocytes and has implications for heart failure
Elife, 11
PubMed 35913125 DOI 10.7554/eLife.77725
Witczak BN, Bollerslev J, Godang K, Schwartz T, Flatø B, Molberg Ø, Sjaastad I, Sanner H (2022)
Body composition in long-standing juvenile dermatomyositis: associations with disease activity, muscle strength and cardiometabolic measures
Rheumatology (Oxford), 61 (7), 2959-2968
PubMed 34718443 DOI 10.1093/rheumatology/keab805
Smith L, Skulberg V, Zhang L, Sjaastad I, Espe E (2022)
The effects of geometry on stiffness measurements in high-field magnetic resonance elastography: A study on rodent cardiac phantoms
J Mech Behav Biomed Mater, 133, 105302
PubMed 35688038 DOI 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2022.105302
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