Clinical Cardiovascular Research Program

  • Dr. Mouaz Al-Mallah
  • Ext.  (85) 16594

  • Department
  • About Head
  • Projects
  • Publications
  • Team

Cardiovascular research program is among the newly launched strategic R&D focus areas at KAIMRC. The concept of the Cardiovascular research program, similar to other strategic R&D programs, is to bring in a coordinated and well integrated fashion a set of focused R&D projects bridging basic and clinical research. It also aims to strengthen translational research with an ultimate goal to develop personalized and precision medicine for cardiovascular diseases. Some of the major focus areas include Ischemic Heart Diseases, Congestive Heart Failure, pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery. The main objective of the program is to enhance the capacity building in cardiovascular research throughout the academic medical center and to encourage and incentivize clinicians to conduct competitive and innovative research.

One of the main focuses of the program is to investigate coronary artery disease across its spectrum including prevention, detection, and advanced therapies. Investigators in the program are exploring multiple clinical, operational and behavioral tools in the primary and secondary  prevention of coronary artery disease. In addition, investigators are utilizing advanced cardiac imaging for the early detection of coronary disease like cardiac positron emission tomography and coronary CT angiography in symptomatic patients and asymptomatic subjects. In addition, the role of new technologies in the cath lab and operating rooms like iFR is being investigated by clinical researchers. Clinical research activities in pediatric cardiology focused primarily on cardiovascular imaging, pediatric cardiovascular interventions, pulmonary hypertension and outcome research related to our active pediatric cardiac surgery program.

There are many ongoing clinical projects in the program including multicenter randomized controlled trials and investigator initiated studies. These include the ISCHEMIA (International Study of Comparative Health Effectiveness with Medical and Invasive Approaches) trial, THIEMS trial (A Multinational, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Effect of Ticagrelor 90 mg twice daily on the Incidence of Cardiovascular Death, Myocardial Infarction or Stroke in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus) and FLAIR study (Functional Lesion Assessment of Intermediate stenosis to guide Revascularization

Randomized Comparison of iFR to FFR). In addition, the investigators participate in multiple international registries like the ACC, STS and ESC registries

Dr Al-Mallah is currently a Consultant Cardiologist and Division Head of Cardiac Imaging at King Abdul-Aziz Cardiac Center, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at King Saud bin Abdul Aziz University and the Head of the Cardiovascular Research Program at King Abdallah International Medical Research Center. He is also the Chairman of the Saudi Cardiac Imaging Working Group and Vice Chair of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology International Taskforce.

Dr Mouaz Al-Mallah received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He completed his training in the USA at Henry Ford Hospital, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Dr Al-Mallah is the head of the cardiac imaging center at King AbulAziz Cardiac Center where he established the first dedicated Cardiac PET Unit in the Middle East that routinely applied cardiac 82-Rubidium PET for the assessment of myocardial perfusion and flow reserve. Since 2011, more than 5,000 cardiac PET procedures have been performed. In addition, Dr Al-Mallah is overseeing the construction of the largest dedicated cardiac imaging center, including Nuclear Cardiology Imaging, Cardiac CT and Cardiac MRI, in the region that is expected to open in 2017.  This will be the main hub for a large enterprise of clinical, research and educational activities that will service not only the needs of the city of Riyadh, but the entire Kingdom and Gulf region.

In terms of research, Dr. Al-Mallah focused on the prognostic value of advanced cardiac imaging procedures and its impact on risk prediction, patient management and outcomes. He published on the prognostic value of cardiac CT, nuclear cardiology as well as coronary calcium score.  In addition, he is the principal investigator of the Henry Ford ExercIse Testing (FIT) Project – the largest study of physical fitness to date. It included nearly 70,000 patients with up to 22 years follow-up and is expected to answer many clinically relevant questions related to exercise capacity and prognosis.  Dr Al-Mallah has more than 180 published original publications and received multiple grants.

He is a member of several American and European cardiovascular councils, serving as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Cardiac CT and as a member of the Editorial Board of JACC, JACC- and EHJ-cardiovascular imaging.  Dr Al-Mallah received many local and international awards including Francis N. Fernandez Fellowship Award, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center Award in 2011, Best Teacher Award from Henry Ford Hospital, and Elite Reviewer Award for the year 2013 from JACC Journals.  In addition, many of his trainees have established academic careers and received multiple research awards while working under his supervision.

Coming Soon.

  • Aladin AI, Al Rifai M, Rasool SH, Keteyian SJ, Brawner CA, Blumenthal RS, Blaha MJ, Al-Mallah MH, McEvoy JW: Relation of Resting Heart Rate to Incident Atrial Fibrillation (from the Henry Ford Hospital Exercise Testing Project). The American Journal of Cardiology
  • Al-Mallah MH, Qureshi WT, Keteyian SJ, Brawner CA, Alam M, Dardari Z, Nasir K, Blaha MJ: Racial Differences in the Prognostic Value of Cardiorespiratory Fitness (Results from the Henry Ford Exercise Testing Project). The American journal of cardiology 2016, 117(9):1449-1454.
  • Hung RK, Al-Mallah MH, Whelton SP, Michos ED, Blumenthal RS, Ehrman JK, Brawner CA, Keteyian SJ, Blaha MJ: Effect of Beta-Blocker Therapy, Maximal Heart Rate, and Exercise Capacity During Stress Testing on Long-Term Survival (from The Henry Ford Exercise Testing Project). The American Journal of Cardiology 2016, 118(11):1751-1757.
  • Adesiyun T, Zhao D, Blaha MJ, Brawner CA, Keteyian SJ, Ehrman JK, Al-Mallah MH, Michos ED: Exercise Parameters and Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Mortality Among Patients Who Use Pulmonary Medications: The FIT Project. The American journal of medicine 2016, 129(4):446. e441-446. e444.
  • Al Rifai M, Patel J, Hung RK, Nasir K, Keteyian SJ, Brawner CA, Ehrman JK, Sakr S, Blumenthal RS, Blaha MJ: Higher Fitness is Strongly Protective in Patients with Family History of Heart Disease: The FIT Project. The American Journal of Medicine
  • McAuley PA, Blaha MJ, Keteyian SJ, Brawner CA, Al Rifai M, Dardari ZA, Ehrman JK, Al-Mallah MH: Fitness, Fatness, and Mortality: The FIT (Henry Ford Exercise Testing) Project. The American journal of medicine
  • Kim J, Al-Mallah M, Juraschek SP, Brawner C, Keteyian SJ, Nasir K, Dardari ZA, Blumenthal RS, Blaha MJ: The association of clinical indication for exercise stress testing with all-cause mortality: the FIT Project. Archives of medical science: AMS 2016, 12(2):303-309.
  • Cho I, ó Hartaigh B, Gransar H, Valenti V, Lin FY, Achenbach S, Berman DS, Budoff MJ, Callister TQ, Al-Mallah MH: Prognostic implications of coronary artery calcium in the absence of coronary artery luminal narrowing. Atherosclerosis
  • Kim J, Budoff MJ, Nasir K, Wong ND, Yeboah J, Al-Mallah MH, Shea S, Dardari ZA, Blumenthal RS, Blaha MJ: Thoracic aortic calcium, cardiovascular disease events, and all-cause mortality in asymptomatic individuals with zero coronary calcium: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Atherosclerosis
  • Qureshi W, O’Neal WT, Soliman EZ, Al-Mallah MH: Systematic review and meta-analysis of mortality and digoxin use in atrial fibrillation. Cardiology journal
  • Al-Mallah MH, Ahmed AM: Controversies in the Use of Fractional Flow Reserve Form Computed Tomography (FFRCT) vs. Coronary Angiography. Current Cardiovascular Imaging Reports 2016, 9(12):34.
  • Deseive S, Shaw LJ, Min JK, Achenbach S, Andreini D, Al-Mallah MH, Berman DS, Budoff MJ, Callister TQ, Cademartiri F: Improved 5-year prediction of all-cause mortality by coronary CT angiography applying the CONFIRM score. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging 2016:jew195.
  • Gebhard C, Buechel RR, Stähli BE, Gransar H, Achenbach S, Berman DS, Budoff MJ, Callister TQ, Chow B, Dunning A: Impact of age and sex on left ventricular function determined by coronary computed tomographic angiography: results from the prospective multicentre CONFIRM study. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging 2016:jew142.
  • Motwani M, Dey D, Berman DS, Germano G, Achenbach S, Al-Mallah MH, Andreini D, Budoff MJ, Cademartiri F, Callister TQ: Machine learning for prediction of all-cause mortality in patients with suspected coronary artery disease: a 5-year multicentre prospective registry analysis. European heart journal 2016:ehw188.
  • Lindner O, Pascual TN, Mercuri M, Acampa W, Burchert W, Flotats A, Kaufmann PA, Kitsiou A, Knuuti J, Underwood SR: Nuclear cardiology practice and associated radiation doses in Europe: results of the IAEA Nuclear Cardiology Protocols Study (INCAPS) for the 27 European countries. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging 2016, 43(4):718-728.
  • Qureshi W, Ali Z, Amjad W, Alirhayim Z, Farooq H, Qadir S, Khalid F, Al-Mallah MH: venous Thromboembolism in Cancer: An Update of Treatment and Prevention in the era of Newer Anticoagulants. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine 2016, 3.
  • Blaha MJ, Hung RK, Dardari Z, Feldman DI, Whelton SP, Nasir K, Blumenthal RS, Brawner CA, Ehrman JK, Keteyian SJ: Age-dependent prognostic value of exercise capacity and derivation of fitness-associated biologic age. Heart 2016, 102(6):431-437.
  • Biswas S, Better N, Pascual TN, Mercuri M, Vitola JV, Karthikeyan G, Westcott J, Alexánderson E, Allam AH, Al-Mallah MH: Nuclear Cardiology Practices and Radiation Exposure in the Oceania Region: Results From the IAEA Nuclear Cardiology Protocols Study (INCAPS). Heart, Lung and Circulation
  • Al-khateeb M, Qureshi WT, Odeh R, Ahmed AM, Sakr S, Elshawi R, Bdeir MB, Al-Mallah MH: The impact of digoxin on mortality in patients with chronic systolic heart failure: A propensity-matched cohort study. International Journal of Cardiology 2017, 228:214-218.
  • Blanke P, Naoum C, Ahmadi A, Cheruvu C, Soon J, Arepalli C, Gransar H, Achenbach S, Berman DS, Budoff MJ: Long-term prognostic utility of coronary CT angiography in stable patients with diabetes mellitus. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging 2016, 9(11):1280-1288.
  • Einstein A, Pascual T, Paez D, Dondi M, Better N, Bouyoucef S, Karthikeyan G, Kashyap R, Lele V, Magboo V: Gender Differences in Radiation Dose From Nuclear Cardiology Studies Across the World. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging 2016, 4(9):376-384.
  • Handy CE, Desai CS, Dardari ZA, Al-Mallah MH, Miedema MD, Ouyang P, Budoff MJ, Blumenthal RS, Nasir K, Blaha MJ: The Association of Coronary Artery Calcium With Noncardiovascular Disease: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging 2016, 9(5):568-576.
  • Schulman-Marcus J, ó Hartaigh B, Gransar H, Lin F, Valenti V, Cho I, Berman D, Callister T, DeLago A, Hadamitzky M: Sex-specific associations between coronary artery plaque extent and risk of major adverse cardiovascular events: the CONFIRM long-term registry. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging 2016, 9(4):364-372.
  • Shi L, Dorbala S, Paez D, Shaw LJ, Zukotynski KA, Pascual TN, Karthikeyan G, Vitola JV, Better N, Bokhari N: Gender Differences in Radiation Dose From Nuclear Cardiology Studies Across the World: Findings From the INCAPS Registry. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging 2016, 9(4):376-384.
  • O’Neal WT, Qureshi WT, Blaha MJ, Dardari ZA, Ehrman JK, Brawner CA, Soliman EZ, Al-Mallah MH: Chronotropic Incompetence and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation: The Henry Ford ExercIse Testing (FIT) Project. JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology
  • Cremer PC, Wu Y, Ahmed HM, Pierson LM, Brennan DM, Al-Mallah MH, Brawner CA, Ehrman JK, Keteyian SJ, Blumenthal RS: Use of Sex-Specific Clinical and Exercise Risk Scores to Identify Patients at Increased Risk for All-Cause Mortality. JAMA cardiology
  • Mercuri M, Pascual TN, Mahmarian JJ, Shaw LJ, Dondi M, Paez D, Einstein AJ: Estimating the reduction in the radiation burden from nuclear cardiology through use of stress-only imaging in the United States and worldwide. JAMA internal medicine 2016, 176(2):269-273.
  • Mercuri M, Pascual TN, Mahmarian JJ, Shaw LJ, Rehani MM, Paez D, Einstein AJ: Comparison of Radiation Doses and Best-Practice Use for Myocardial Perfusion Imaging in US and Non-US Laboratories: Findings From the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Nuclear Cardiology Protocols Study. JAMA internal medicine 2016, 176(2):266-269.
  • Blaha MJ, Whelton SP, Al Rifai M, Dardari ZA, Shaw LJ, Al-Mallah MH, Matsushita K, Rumberger JA, Berman DS, Budoff MJ: Rationale and design of the coronary artery calcium consortium: A multicenter cohort study. Journal of cardiovascular computed tomography
  • Cheruvu C, Precious B, Naoum C, Blanke P, Ahmadi A, Soon J, Arepalli C, Gransar H, Achenbach S, Berman DS: Long term prognostic utility of coronary CT angiography in patients with no modifiable coronary artery disease risk factors: Results from the 5 year follow-up of the CONFIRM International Multicenter Registry. Journal of cardiovascular computed tomography 2016, 10(1):22-27.
  • Al-Mehisen R, El Essely R, Al-Mallah M, Al-Mohaissen MA, Kashour T: Quadricuspid Aortic Valve, Single Coronary Artery, Solitary Kidney and Oblique Facial Cleft. A Unique Constellation of Congenital Abnormalities: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy 2016, 2016.
  • Vitola JV, Mut F, Alexánderson E, Pascual TN, Mercuri M, Karthikeyan G, Better N, Rehani MM, Kashyap R, Dondi M: Opportunities for improvement on current nuclear cardiology practices and radiation exposure in Latin America: Findings from the 65-country IAEA Nuclear Cardiology Protocols cross-sectional Study (INCAPS). Journal of Nuclear Cardiology 2016:1-9.
  • Alotaibi AM, Aljizeeri A, Al-mallah M, Alsaileek A: Utility of cardiac magnetic resonance in recurrent myocarditis. Journal of the Saudi Heart Association
  • Al-Mallah MH, Juraschek SP, Whelton S, Dardari ZA, Ehrman JK, Michos ED, Blumenthal RS, Nasir K, Qureshi WT, Brawner CA: Sex Differences in Cardiorespiratory Fitness and All-Cause Mortality: The Henry Ford ExercIse Testing (FIT) Project. In: Mayo Clinic Proceedings: 2016: Elsevier; 2016: 755-762.
  • Shaya GE, Al-Mallah MH, Hung RK, Nasir K, Blumenthal RS, Ehrman JK, Keteyian SJ, Brawner CA, Qureshi WT, Blaha MJ: High exercise capacity attenuates the risk of early mortality after a first myocardial infarction: the Henry Ford Exercise Testing (FIT) Project. In: Mayo Clinic Proceedings: 2016: Elsevier; 2016: 129-139.
  • Albrahim M, Ahmed AM, Alwakeel A, Hijji F, Al-Mallah MH: Predictors of delayed pre-hospital presentation among patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. Qatar Medical Journal 2016, 2016(1):7.


Coming Soon.