Background and training
Professor Carlo Di Mario trained in Italy, then moved to Holland where he worked for six years. He then moved back to Italy to work at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, before coming to the UK to take up his appointment as a cardiology specialist at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.
Professor Di Mario is the team leader for complex coronary artery disease at the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit of the Royal Brompton & Harefield Foundation Trust.
Interventional cardiology is a relatively new field applying percutaneous catheters and other devices to restore blood flow to the heart without major surgery. The field is growing rapidly to include interventions on the heart valves, peripheral vessels and the correction of other structural heart abnormalities.
Professor Di Mario, who has been president of the European Association of Cardiovascular Interventions and councillor on the Board of the European Society of Cardiology, explains: “Increased demand for more interventional procedures has outweighed the number of properly trained new specialists available. Very few countries offer structured training, so it was essential to set up an official programme.”
International training at Royal Brompton
The first European Interventional Cardiology Fellows course was run at Royal Brompton Hospital in November 2006, with successful new editions up to 2012 attended by more than 100 cardiology fellows from all over the world.
| "The course was an important step in the process towards standardising specialist training throughout Europe. Now the course is run directly by the association, but Royal Brompton continues to attract the best people to study with us."
| Professor Carlo Di Mario
Attendees for this course have come from around the world, including Australia, Japan, Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey.
To share unusual cases, Professor Di Mario has broadcast live transmissions of interventional cardiology procedures to thousands of international colleagues across Europe, Asia and the United States.
At the World Congress of Cardiology, held in Barcelona in 2006, more than 4,000 delegates watched the successful treatment of total occlusions at Royal Brompton. Professor Di Mario used wires passed both from above the occlusion and, via tiny collateral vessels, from below the occlusion, in a new approach called retrograde, which increases the success rate in these complex cases.
For 10 years, similar cases have been transmitted at the JIM meeting in Rome, the Transcatheter Therapeutics congress in Washington and many others.
Professor Di Mario has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals such as:
- the New England Journal of Medicine
- The Lancet
- the Journal of the American College of Cardiology
- the European Journal of Cardiology.
He is also the associate editor Eurointervention, European Heart Journal - Cardiovascular Imaging, the International Journal of Cardiology and is a member of editorial boards for many prestigious journals.
He is also a recognised authority in the field of intravascular imaging, with ultrasound, optical coherence tomography and near-infrared spectroscopy used for research and clinical guidance.
He says, “Our international work makes sure that we offer the best to our patients in terms of what is available in the field. It also keeps us at the forefront of research and scientific developments in specialist areas.”
Read Professor Di Mario's profile in Circulation (scroll down to view).