Fifty years ago, when the first heart transplant was done, it was thought of as science fiction. Today, nearly 3500 people each year receive a new heart and experience a transformed quality and quantity of life. Research translated into clinical application has made this possible. While heart transplants are more common, they are not routine and remain a high-risk procedure and a last option for severely ill people. A main focus of my clinical and research activity is exploiting the potential of imaging technologies to help us better predict and treat those patients at high risk of heart transplant rejection or heart attack after surgery.
Dr. Craig Butler is a medical graduate of Dalhousie University with a master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Alberta. He completed specialty training in advanced cardiac imaging in Canada and Germany. He joined the Division of Cardiology in Edmonton in 2009 and is cross-appointed to the Department of Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging.
Dr. Butler is a cardiologist and a highly cited researcher whose areas of interest include using imaging technologies to better diagnose and treat risk of cardiovascular problems in several vulnerable populations, including heart transplant patients and the elderly.
Leadership and Collaborations:
Dr. Butler holds positions of Educational Leadership within the Division of Cardiology as Program Director for Cardiology Residency Training and as the Chair of the Cardiology Fellowship Committee. Dr. Butler also served on the Royal College Sub-specialty committee to revise cardiovascular training objectives for the new Competency Based Residency Education Curriculum. Leading the Division of Cardiology and Residency Training Program into the era of Competency Based Medical Education is a major initiative over the coming years.
Nationally, Dr. Butler is a longstanding member of the Canadian Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and has also served as co-chair of the Canadian International Regional Committee of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.
Dr. Butler instructs at the medical undergraduate and post graduate level with a focus on the rational investigation of common cardiovascular conditions. He is also interested in educational theory of medical education and is pursuing graduate coursework in this area at University College London, UK.
Recent research initiatives include exploring the relationship between epicardial adipose tissue and cardiovascular outcomes, and identifying imaging risk predictors following percutaneous structural cardiac intervention. Dr. Butler is also interested in assessing the utility of cardiovascular MRI in diagnosing heart transplant rejection.
Dr. Butler has published his research in leading peer-reviewed journals, including an MRI paper, for which he was lead author, that was selected as the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation’s top heart transplant paper in 2016. He is also co-author of the fourth edition of 25 Landmark Trials.
Cardiovascular event, Coronary Artery Modelling, Coronary CT angiography, Diagnostic Accuracy, Perioperative risk