Improving cardiac outcomes at heart of new research

Ground-breaking research with the potential to improve diagnosis of a life-threatening heart condition is underway thanks to an international collaboration led by West Moreton Health’s Dr Matthew Burrage.

A cardiology and medicine staff specialist with West Moreton, Dr Burrage (pictured) has worked with counterparts from England’s University of Oxford to develop a cutting-edge, artificial intelligence-based MRI technology called Virtual Native Enhancement (VNE). Dr Matthew Burrage

The technology has the potential to assist in diagnosing cardiac amyloidosis, an increasingly common yet life-threatening disease caused when abnormal protein builds up in the heart.

VNE enables the use of a fast, safe and low-cost test, free of radiation and contrast dyes, to help identify cardiac amyloidosis.

Research into the efficacy of the technology is now underway at West Moreton and Metro South Hospital and Health Services after Dr Burrage successfully applied for a $100,000 grant through the Queensland Health Clinical Research Fellowship.

The grants program supports clinician researchers to conduct critical research with the goal of improving health outcomes for patients and finding new ways to deliver better care.

Dr Burrage’s research will continue until over the next two years before consideration is given to the suitability of VNE for broader use.

“This technology has the potential to improve healthcare outcomes in patients by offering better diagnostic, screening and monitoring for cardiac amyloidosis,” Dr Burrage said.

“Importantly, VNE does not require ionising radiation or intravenous contrast agents that are needed for other diagnostic tests.

“This means that scans can be done safely and in a fraction of the time with improvements for patient comfort and clinical throughput.

“I’m very proud and excited to be able to undertake this world-leading research in collaboration with the Queensland Amyloidosis Centre at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, the Translational Research Institute, the University of Queensland, and the University of Oxford.”

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Hannah Bloch congratulated Dr Burrage and the research team for their “incredible vision and hard work”.

“West Moreton is proud to call Dr Burrage one of our own and his collaboration with international specialists has positioned our health service at the forefront of world medical innovation,” she said.

“His work underlines why the Queensland Health Clinical Research Fellowship is so important.

“West Moreton is committed to ensuring the local community is provided with the best possible health care, so as always, we welcome any initiatives that could improve patient outcomes.

“We look forward to hearing more about Dr Burrage’s research as it progresses.”