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Section of Atherosclerosis

Houston, Texas

BCM faculty, staff and trainees are the heart of the organization.
Section of Atherosclerosis and Vascular Medicine
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Gerd Brunner, Ph.D.

Position:

Assistant Professor

Contact Information:

Phone: 713-798-3438
Fax: 713-798-8039
E-mail: gbrunner@bcm.edu

Basic and Clinical Research Interests:

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a malignant form of atherosclerosis that is associated with impaired leg muscle function, reduced quality of life, muscle volume loss, and possibly limb loss. PAD is associated with an increased risk of atherothrombotic cardiovascular events and mortality. Approximately 27 million people suffer from PAD in Europe and North America. PAD is associated with 5 year outcomes that are worse than breast cancer and some other malignancies and the disease incurs an annual economic burden of more than 150 billion dollars to the United States alone.

Identifying individuals at risk of having an adverse cardiovascular event is key in prevention. Although advances in pharmacotherapy have significantly decreased the risk of adverse cardiovascular events, there is still a large residual risk. Clinical characteristics provide important, yet incomplete information in assessing individuals at risk. The addition of biomarkers and imaging tests has been suggested by recent clinical studies to be more specific for identifying individuals at risk. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasonography imaging are free of ionizing radiation and are excellent imaging modalities to study PAD and atherosclerosis.

Dr. Brunner's research interests include the study of PAD on skeletal muscle morphology using MR imaging. He also utilizes novel MR imaging protocols to assess the effects of revascularization on leg function in PAD patients. Dr. Brunner also develops novel image analysis algorithms to analyze and fuse MRI and ultrasonography imaging data. Moreover, Dr. Brunner uses imaging and histological analysis to quantify atherosclerosis plaque burden of the femoral arteries and carotid arteries. Dr. Brunner also studies parameters of arterial stiffness using ultrasonongraphy imaging.

Selected Publications:

  • G. Brunner, V. Nambi, E. Yang, A. Kumar, SS.Virani, P. Kougias, D. Shah, A. Lumsden, CM. Ballantyne, JD. Morrisett. Automatic Quantification of Muscle Volumes in Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scans of the Lower Extremities. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 2011;29(8):1065-1075.
  • R. Brown, C. Karmonik, G. Brunner, A. Lumsden, CM. Ballantyne, S. Johnson, Y. Wang, JD. Morrisett. Simultaneous Bilateral Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Femoral Arteries in Peripheral Arterial Disease Patients. J. Mag Reson. Imag. Vol. 34, Issue 1, pp 150-156, 2011.
  • Yang EY, Dokainish H, Virani SS, Misra A, Lakkis N, Pritchett AM, Brunner G, Bobek J, McCulloch ML, Hartley CJ, Ballantyne CM, Nagueh SF, Nambi V. Segmental Analysis of Carotid Arterial Strain Using Speckle-Tracking. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. 2011 24(11):1276-1284.
  • G. Brunner, E. Yang, J. Morrisett, Z. Garami, V. Nambi. Image fusion technology. In: Jasjit S. Suri, Chirinjeev Kathuria, Filippo Molinari, eds. Atherosclerosis Disease Management.: Springer; 2012 (in press).

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