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Professor Lang: his life and achievements and personal vision regarding cardiovascular imaging in general

Professor Roberto M. Lang, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Noninvasive Cardiac Imaging Laboratory at the University of Chicago, USA. Being an internationally renowned cardiologist and specialist in echocardiography, he uses his vast knowledge of cardiac imaging techniques to evaluate patients with a wide variety of heart conditions, including heart failure and valve disease. Dr. Lang was a pioneer in the development of three-dimensional echocardiography, a state-of-the-art method to observe heart function. He is a past president of the American Society of Echocardiography. In addition, he has been named one of the top cardiologists in Chicago by Chicago magazine. Professor Lang is currently in charge of the Valve Clinic, where he actively collaborates with interventional cardiologists, as well as cardiac and vascular surgeons, to treat patients with structural heart disease. His clinical interests are valvular heart diseases, aortic disease, echocardiography, general cardiology, heart failure, hypertension and coronary artery disease. He is a Member of the American Society of Echocardiography, the American College of Cardiology (Fellow), the American College of Physicians, the American Federation of Clinical Research, the Central Society for Clinical Research, the Chicago Heart Association and the Heart Failure Society of America.

Professor Roberto Lang was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he went to medical school at the University Nacional de Buenos Aires. He completed his training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology both in Israel at the Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, and at the University of Wisconsin in the United States of America. From the very start of his medical career, he has always been interested in cardiology. He counts Professor dr. Zvi Klein – whom he came into contact with while training in Israel – as one of the influential professionals who inspired him and proved to be an example to him as a young doctor. He became aware of the fact that Professor Klein was always performing clinical research at the time with M-mode echocardiography and phonocardiography. Klein was therefore the first to instill a thorough interest in performing clinical research in him and Professor Lang remains forever thankful for that.

Proud of work in three dimensional echocardiography

As for his own work, Professor Lang is most proud of the work his group performed on three dimensional echocardiographic imaging. They started with this modality many, many years ago when it was brand new and their extensive work over the years has resulted in multiple studies showing the advantages of the third dimension. Specific lines of interest that Professor Lang feels strongly about is the use of three dimensional echocardiography for the quantification of the cardiac chambers as well as the quantification of the valves and regurgitant jets.

Fusion imaging

When considering cardiovascular imaging in general, one of the fields which Professor Lang finds really interesting is fusion imaging. With this technique, registration is used to different imaging techniques which are then fused in order to provide additional imaging information. He and his group at the university of Chicago are doing quite a lot of work where they fuse the coronary arteries from computed tomography (CT) with three dimensional echocardiography whereby they assess the function of the heart.

Bright future for cardiovascular imaging

According to Professor Lang, the future of cardiovascular imaging is bright. He reckons that it has become clear over the last couple of years that cardiac imaging possesses the ability to guide interventional procedures in the cath lab. Also, by using three dimensional echocardiographic images, it is indeed possible to quantify a vast amount of para-meters in a more precise fashion and with less variability than with other modalities or techniques. Looking back into history until now, Professor Lang feels that cardiovascular imaging in general has the ability to make a very quick diagnosis and put each cardiac patient and non-cardiac patient on a correct pathway for physicians with regard to treatment.