Research Projects
Novel 4-Dimensional Echocardiographic Evaluation of Cardiac Function in Children with Congenital and Acquired Heart Diseases


Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS
About the Project

Objective and Significance:

Congenital heart diseases constitute the most common congenital malformations. The incidence is about 1 in 100 live births. In Chinese children, abnormal development of the right heart is particularly common. In such congenital heart abnormalities, the right heart can either pump blood to the lungs as usual or function as a left heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. However, despite surgical correction of the heart abnormality, the right heart is vulnerable to functional deterioration and may also affect left heart function in the long-term. Serial accurate assessment of heart function in these patients and timely interventions such as reoperation may prevent or delay the occurrence of such deterioration. Assessment of right heart function is however difficult as, unlike the left heart, the right heart is asymmetrical and quantification of its function by mathematical modeling is not possible. Recently, a new noninvasive imaging technology, 4-dimensional echocardiography, has been developed. It allows real-time reconstruction of the heart chambers, measurement of chamber volumes, and quantification of pump function of both the right and left heart. This new echocardiographic assessment tool has bypassed the limitations of geometry. The proposed study aims to determine the usefulness of 4dimensional echocardiography in the assessment of right heart function and right-left heart interaction in children with congenital and acquired heart diseases. The ability to validate and apply this technique in children with heart diseases has important implications as it would facilitate serial monitoring or right and left heart function and their interaction by the bedside and provide important information on the optimal timing of intervention.

Research Plan and Methodology:

Our cardiovascular physiology research laboratory has the cutting edge technology for noninvasive evaluation of ventricular function from a 4-dimensional perspective. The student is to work with the research fellows and clinical paediatric cardiologists to learn the basic principles of 4-dimensional echocardiography and to acquire skills on acquisition and interpretation of 4-dimensional echocaridographic data in clinical subjects with different types of congenital heart diseases.

About the Supervisor

Prof YF Cheung, Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Biography
xfcheung@hku.hk

Next Step?

For more information or to express interest for this project, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the project description.  Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website. General admission enquiries should be directed to rpgmed@hku.hk.

HKUMed MBBS students interested in the Master of Research in Medicine (MRes[Med]) programme may visit the programme website for more information.  

HKUMed UG students interested in the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) may visit the scheme’s website for more information.