2023 CSANZ Fellows-in-Training Heart School Webinars

2023 CSANZ Fellows-in-Training Heart School Webinars

Click on the tabs below for topic and presenters.

Dr Zhaleh Ataei Travelling Fellowship Report from the AHA 2023

Dr Zhaleh Ataei
Masters of Biomedical Science, University of Melbourne
Researcher, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

A medical doctor undertaking a Master of Biomedical Science at the University of Melbourne who has been doing a research project at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute for almost two years.

Attending the AHA conference for the first time was an incredible experience. I learned a lot from the best in my field and got the chance to network with scientists in the same area. I presented our study on how physical activity modified the risk of incident cardiovascular disease in women with early menopause and complicated pregnancy in the “hot topics in heart disease in women” session.

I am incredibly grateful to my family for their constant support throughout my life and to my supervisors, Associate Professor Erin Howden, Dr Sergio Ruiz-Carmona, and Dr Leah Wright, for all their guidance in these two years!

Special thanks to the CSANZ for their support in attending such a fantastic conference!

Please find Zhaleh’s presented abstract on the link below: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.18857

Dr Joshua Wong Travelling Fellowship Report of AHA 2023


Dr Joshua Wong
Cardiologist at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC

It was a great privilege to be awarded the CSANZ Travelling Fellowship to attend the American Heart Association Scientific Session 2023 in Philadelphia, USA.

I was delighted to present research from my PhD at the AHA. My abstract examined the impact of cancer and chemotherapy on the development of heart failure in people with diabetes. This population study linked large datasets with the Australian National Diabetes Services Scheme and found evidence to suggest that cancer itself is a driver of heart failure in the diabetes population, regardless of prior chemotherapy prescription. The presentation was well received and sparked interesting discussion.

Cardio-oncology is a rapidly emerging field, so it was a highlight to learn and connect with the expanding global cardio-oncology community. America and Europe have well established cardio-oncology units and training programs and it was inspiring to learn valuable lessons to implement back home.

Another highlight of the conference was the presentation of the landmark SELECT Trial – which showed Semaglutide improved cardiovascular outcomes in obese/overweight people with established cardiovascular disease in the non-diabetic population. The excitement and attention to the main event presentation was electric with people spilling over into the hallways.

Philadelphia was absolutely stunning in the fall and I had enough Philly Cheesesteaks to last me a lifetime! I was also able to travel down to New York and meet with Dr Jennifer Liu, the Director of Cardiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre to set up a future research collaboration for my PhD.

I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to my supervisor Professor Tom Marwick who is an invaluable source of constant guidance and mentorship and to CSANZ for their generosity and support of young clinician-researchers like myself – this experience would not have been possible without them.

Please find link to Joshua’s abstract on the link below presented at the AHA Scientific Sessions in November 2023.

Dr Jonathan Sen Travelling Fellowship Report for the ESC Congress 2023

Dr Jonathan Sen
Cardiology Advanced Trainee at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD

I am a final year Cardiology Advanced Trainee at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, as well as a PhD candidate with the University of Melbourne under the supervision of Professor Tom Marwick. It was an honour to attend the recent European Society of Cardiology meeting in Amsterdam in August 2023 with support from a CSANZ Travelling Fellowship. At the Congress, I presented the following three abstracts:

My research uses Big Data to investigate the ageing myocardium and aortic valve disease. Using unsupervised machine learning algorithms, my research found that comorbidities, beyond echocardiographic parameters, are key drivers of adverse outcomes in patients with moderate aortic stenosis. We developed a risk score as a decision support tool in risk stratification for patients with
aortic stenosis. Additionally, demographic and clinical factors were also shown to impact the progression of aortic stenosis. This research highlights the need for clinicians to carefully consider comorbidities that predispose adverse outcomes when managing patients with aortic stenosis.

The ESC Congress was an excellent platform in which to immerse myself in the latest advancements in cardiology. The Hot Line, late-breaking science, and New ESC Guidelines sessions, particularly those on the latest advancements in heart failure, imaging, and valvular heart disease, were enlightening. During the “Valvular heart disease: echocardiography and beyond” and “The challenging management of moderate aortic stenosis” sessions, I engaged in discussions with others who shared a similar research interest. Meeting mentors and experts in the field offered unique insights and fostered professional relationships that will facilitate future collaborations. Overall, the experience inspired a sense of excitement and enthusiasm in further research endeavours.

This was an exceptional opportunity to present my research, learn from experts, and connect with like-minded colleagues. Attending this international Congress has significantly contributed to my growth as a cardiology advanced trainee and PhD Candidate, and has motivated me to continue contributing towards advancement of this field. I am grateful for the Travelling Fellowship that made this experience possible.

Dr Stephanie Rowe Travelling Fellowship Report ESC Congress 2023

Dr Stephanie Rowe,
Cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne

I was fortunate to be awarded the 2023 CSANZ ESC Travelling Fellowship which allowed me to
attend my first in-person major international meeting. This year, the conference was held in
Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

I am a Cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and in my first year of my PhD. I was excited
to present my abstract as a moderated poster in the session ‘What more do I need to know about
the athlete’s heart?’

My research was entitled ‘Cardiac remodelling in male and female athletes: An MRI assessment of cardiac size and its impact on cardiorespiratory fitness’ and focussed on the strong positive relationship between increasing cardiac size and fitness in elite endurance athletes.

It was wonderful to meet our international collaborators in person as well as having the opportunity
to network with leaders in our field. I particularly enjoyed the sessions on sports cardiology and
cardiac genetics. The biggest takeaway for me was the new ESC guidelines for the management of
cardiomyopathies which highlighted the important role of genetic testing and counselling. Outside
of the conference, it was lovely to have the opportunity to explore Amsterdam and the surrounding

I am very grateful to the CSANZ for giving me this opportunity and supporting me in my PhD
studies. This experience has helped expand my international network, and really inspired me for the
coming years of my PhD.

Stephanie’s abstract presented can be found on ESC365 link below:
Cardiac remodelling in male and female athletes: An MRI assessment of cardiac size and its
impact on cardiorespiratory fitness. https://esc365.escardio.org/presentation/267908 

Dr Seshika Ratwatte ESC 2023 Travelling Fellowship Report

Dr Seshika Ratwatte, PhD Student University of Sydney and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Fellow at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to travel to the ESC Congress 2023 in Amsterdam with the support of a CSANZ Travelling Fellowship!
I am in my second year of PhD through the University of Sydney and am the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Fellow at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. I was very excited to attend and present at my first in-person, major, international conference! I had not had the opportunity prior due to the COVID hiatus.

I enjoyed the opportunity to present parts of my PhD at the conference, with four abstracts accepted as moderated e-poster presentations. These abstracts utilised data from the National Echo Database of Australia and related to pulmonary hypertension in left heart disease, specifically cohorts with significant i) aortic regurgitation, ii) aortic stenosis, iii) mitral regurgitation and iv) reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Each project showed a graded and independent relationship between the severity of raised pulmonary pressures and subsequent mortality – even at low levels.

The chance to meet and hear from leaders across different cardiology sub-specialties was a highlight for me. I learnt very early in the conference that if you wanted to get a seat in a big session you had to arrive at least 20 minutes in advance! The volume and quality of research presented was unlike what I’ve previously experienced and was certainly motivating for me to expand my network and research moving forwards.

I’d like to thank my PhD supervisor Professor David Celermajer for his guidance, support and encouragement with my research. Many thanks also go to my NEDA collaborators and to CSANZ for their support of me presenting at this meeting!

Seshika’s abstracts presented can be found on the ESC365 links below:

Prevalence of pulmonary hypertension in reduced left ventricular systolic function and its influence on outcomes https://esc365.escardio.org/presentation/269615

Prevalence of pulmonary hypertension in aortic regurgitation and its influence on outcomes


Prevalence of pulmonary hypertension in mitral regurgitation and its influence on outcomes


ECG of the Month

What does the above Holter demonstrate?
Why is the PR interval prolonged for some of the sinus beats?
The Answer: 
What does this Holter demonstrate?
  1. Interpolated PVCs – these are ventricular ectopics that occur between two sinus beats without a pause.

  2. A phenomenon called concealed conduction where the PVCs penetrate retrogradely to the AV node – it is concealed because the only evidence that this has occurred is ‘indirect’ – ie. PR interval prolongation in the subsequent sinus beats (*).

2022 Heart School Fellows in Training Webinars

2022 CSANZ Fellows in Training Heart School Webinars

Click on the tabs below for topic and presenters.                Register for next webinar here:  CSANZ Other Meetings and Events

Follow this link to view the 2022 CSANZ ASM Fellows in Training Symposium            

Topics included: 

  • Joint imaging and procedural session on structural Interventions        
  • Contemporary chest pain assessment: CTCA vs. functional testing
  • Emerging therapies and the future of electrophysiology and what’s new in pacing?
  • Rheumatic heart disease and ‘Life as an early consultant’.

Pulmonary Hypertension in Aortic Stenosis

Pulmonary Hypertension in Aortic Stenosis

Summary by Dr Seshika Ratwatte

Aortic stenosis (AS) is the commonest valve abnormality in developed countries with increasing prevalence and a long pre-symptomatic phase. Measureable variables such as concomitant pulmonary hypertension (PHT) are important in risk stratification. In AS, PHT likely arises from left venricular hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction, thence an increase in left atrium (LA) pressure.

In a ‘partner’ publication to their work on PHT in aortic regurgitagtion, Dr Seshika Ratwatte, senior author Professor David Celermajer and their co-authors identify a cohort of 14980 patients with moderate or severe AS and preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF>50%) using the National Echo Database of Australia (NEDA). The authors describe a typical pattern of worsening ‘left heart disease’ phenotypic response that was evident with increasing severe PHT. This included worsening diastolic dysfunction and a greater proportion of patients with RV dilation and dysfunction.

The publication confirms the negative prognostic impact of PHT in patients with AS, with the risk of all-cause mortality progressively increasing as eRSVP level increases (Central Illustration).  A threshold for higher mortality was identified within the range of “borderline-mild” PHT. The publication was Editoralised in the most recent issue of HEART with the authors credited for their analysis of ‘big data’ to increase knowledge in this field.

Read Article in full here: Prevalence of pulmonary hypertension in aortic stenosis and its influence on outcomes | Heart (bmj.com)

Read Editorial here: Pulmonary hypertension in significant aortic valve disease: a dive into real-world data | Heart (bmj.com)


More Clinical Cases

Fun with HF

Alex Dashwood, 22 February 2022

Read more

Your opinion is sought…

Mr A is a 72 year old who had a dual chamber permanent pacemaker implanted five years previously for symptomatic sinus node dysfunction – syncope with documented sinus pauses of 3-5 seconds duration…

Read more


Is this AF?

A 58 year old man presents with syncope. LV function is normal.
What is the rhythm?
Alex Voskoboinik February 2022

Link to CSANZ Forum to discuss and find the answer

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