Mechanisms of Right Heart Failure

Right heart failure (HF) is one of the most important predictors of outcomes in cardiac disease and pulmonary hypertension. Despite this, there is little known about the mechanisms underlying right HF, and currently there are no therapies that directly and selectively target the right heart. The team is involved in the evaluation of cardiac metabolism in the development of right HF. Using a combination of both animal and clinical studies, in a translational fashion; we are currently evaluating the role of cardiac metabolism, and the role of metabolic modulation in right HF. Our long term goal is to determine if metabolic modulation has a potential treatment role in chronic right HF. Furthermore, the teams research interests include an evaluation of the role of metabolic imaging in HF. Lisa Mielniczuk, MD currently leads a multi-centered national randomized trial evaluating the role of cardiac PET viability testing in advanced HF.


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See current publications list at PubMed.

Selected publications (up to 10):

  1. Ahmadi A, Ohira H, Mielniczuk LM. FDG PET imaging for identifying pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure. Curr Cardiol Rep. 2015 Jan;17(1):555.
  2. Mielniczuk LM, Swiston JR, Mehta S. Riociguat: a novel therapeutic option for pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. Can J Cardiol. 2014 Oct;30(10):1233-40
  3. Mielniczuk LM, Chandy G, Stewart D, Contreras-Dominguez V, Haddad H, Pugliese C, Davies RA. Worsening renal function and prognosis in pulmonary hypertension patients hospitalized for right heart failure. Congest Heart Fail. 2012 May-Jun;18(3):151-7.
  4. Mitoff PR, Beauchesne L, Dick AJ, Chow BJ, Beanlands RS, Haddad H, Mielniczuk LM. Imaging the failing right ventricle. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2012 Mar;27(2):148-53.
  5. Mielniczuk LM, Birnie D, Ziadi MC, deKemp RA, DaSilva JN, Burwash I, Tang AT, Davies RA, Haddad H, Guo A, Aung M, Williams K, Ukkonen H, Beanlands RS. Relation between right ventricular function and increased right ventricular [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose accumulation in patients with heart failure. Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2011 Jan;4(1):59-66
  6. Reinglas J, Haddad H, Davies RA, Mielniczuk L. Cardiorenal syndrome and heart failure. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2010 Mar;25(2):141-7. Review
  7. Mielniczuk LM, Haddad H, Davies RA. Ultrafiltration in the management of acute decompensated heart failure. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2010 Mar;25(2):155-60.Review
  8. Mielniczuk LM, Baughman KL. Evaluation of Patients for Ventricular Dysfunction and Heart Failure. In: Textbook of Chronic Heart Failure. Editors: Patterson H, Adams Kirkwood. For Publication 2009.
  9. Mielniczuk LM, Tsang SW, Desai AS, Nohria A, Fang JC, Baughman KL, Stevenson LW, Givertz, MM. The association between high dose diuretics and clinical stability in ambulatory chronic heart failure patients. J Card Fail. 2008;14(5):388-393.
  10. Mielniczuk LM, Pfeffer MA, Lewis EF, Blazing M, DeLemos JA, Mohanavelu S, Califf R, Braunwald E. Estimated glomerular filtration rate, inflammation and cardiovascular events following an acute coronary syndrome. Am Heart J. 2008; 155(4):725-31.


Current Team members:

Rosemary Dunne, Research Coordinator
Ali Ahmadi, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow

Collaborators include:

Peter Liu, MD, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Ross Davies, MD, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Duncan Stewart, MD, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Rob Beanlands, MD, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Rob deKemp, PhD, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
George Chandy, MD, The Ottawa Hospital
Haissam Haddad, MD, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Sharon Chih MBBS, PhD, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Ellamae Stadnick, MD, University of Ottawa Heart Institute


Our Research Team aims to:

  1. Delineate the metabolic changes in the pulmonary vasculature and right ventricle in the progression of right HF in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH);
  2. Identify the role of metabolic imaging in the evaluation of pulmonary hypertension (PH);
  3. Evaluate the role of metabolic modulation as a potential management strategy in patients with PAH and/or right HF.

Our research is funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Available Positions


To enquire about available positions, please submit your CV with a cover letter detailing what you can bring to the team.