Wasim Zahid

Wasim Zahid, MD, PhD

He acquired his MD from the University of Oslo in 2003. He did his specialization in internal medicine at Drammen Sykehus Vestre Viken, and joined Rikshospitalet as a PhD candidate at the end of 2010 while also specializing further in cardiology at Oslo University Hospital.

The theme of his thesis was assessment of the prognostic and diagnostic value of different echocardiographic indices for myocardial function in clinical settings. His supervisors were Professor Erik Fosse, MD, PhD and Professor Thor Edvardsen, MD PhD. Zahid successfully defended his PhD thesis "Myocardial function by echocardiography for risk stratification in patients with heart disease" in October 2016.


Doctor and researcher Wasim Zahid has in his PhD-thesis focused on investigating whether myocardial function by tissue Doppler imaging and two-dimensional strain echocardiography can be used in the assessment of diagnosis and prognosis in patients with heart disease. Tissue Doppler imaging and speckle tracking measure systolic function more directly than the most commonly used ejection fraction (EF).

Acute myocardial infarction damages myocardial tissue and leads to impaired systolic function, causing inadequate cardiac output. The hearts failed ability to pump out all the blood from the ventricle may lead to pulmonary edema or cardiac arrest. On the basis of electrocardiographic (ECG) characteristics, patients are divided into two main categories; ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), and non ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS). The latter is further divided into non ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and unstable angina pectoris (UAP) on the basis of biochemical changes.

Among specific aims of this thesis were assessments on whether myocardial function by MAD (mitral annular displacement) and GLS (global longitudinal strain) can distinguish between small and large infarcts, coronary occlusions and non-occlusions, and predict mortality in patients with NSTEMI, and whether myocardial function by MAD and GLS can distinguish between patients with NSTEMI from stable CAD (coronary artery disease) patients without acute coronary syndrome. The journal article "Mitral annular displacement by Doppler tissue imaging may identify coronary occlusion and predict mortality in patients with non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction" (J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2013;26:875-84) showed that the performance of MAD was comparable with that of the other indices of myocardial function (GLS, LVEF, and WMSI). The study results imply that decreased MAD is associated with decreased myocardial function, larger infarcts, and higher risk for mortality in patients with NSTEMI. To the authors knowledge the study was the first to show such an association between MAD and mortality exclusively for patients with NSTEMIs without previously known acute myocardial infarctions undergoing modern revascularization therapy.

The journal article "Early systolic lengthening may indentify minimal myocardial damage in patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome" (Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2014;15:1152-60) showed that DESL (duration of early systolic lengthening) by two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography shows good correlation to final infarct size and a short DESL can accurately identify NSTEMI patients with minimal myocardial damage, as defined by lack of scarring on cardiac MRI.

"Myocardial function by two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography and Activin A may predict mortality in patients with carcinoid intestinal disease", published in Cardiology, 2015 Jun;132:81-90, showed that myocardial function by LV strain and MAD, and the biomarkers Activin A and OPG, are independently associated with mortality in patients with intestinal carcinoid disease. The data also showed that these patients have a biventricular deterioration of myocardial function.

Center for Cardiological Innovation