Cardionerds - A Cardiology Podcast:

Cardiac Critical Care Page

Cardionerds - A Cardiology Podcast:

Welcome to the CardioNerds Cardiac Critical Care Series Page! 

The modern Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) has evolved considerably since its inception in the 1960s. Once solely dedicated to the care and convalescence of patients who suffered acute myocardial infarctions, CICUs now include diverse demographics and pathology (including many non-cardiac conditions). Similarly, our critical care armamentarium has expanded, while older tools at our disposal may have new indications. Join us for the Cardiac Critical Care Series as we learn about the wide breadth of disease and treatment options – from hemodynamics to mechanical circulatory support to ventilation strategies – in the modern CICU.

This series is a multi-institutional collaboration made possible by contributions of stellar fellow leads and expert faculty from several programs, led by series co-chairs, Dr. Mark BelkinDr. Eunice DuganDr. Karan Desai, and Dr. Yoav Karpenshif.


In this episode, Dr. Carly Fabrizio (Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology Physician at Christiana Care Hospital), CardioNerds Critical Care Series Co-Chair Dr. Mark Belkin (Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Fellow at University of Chicago) and CardioNerds Co-Founder Dr. Amit Goyal (Cleveland Clinic) join Dr. Gavin Hickey (Director of the AHFTC Fellowship and medical director of the left ventricular assist device program at UPMC) and Dr. David Kaczorowski (Surgical Director for the Advanced Heart Failure center, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UPMC) for a discussion on post-cardiotomy shock. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy Intern, student doctor, Shivani Reddy.

Post-cardiotomy shock is characterized by heart failure that results in the inability to wean from cardiopulmonary bypass or develops post cardiac surgery. Patients who develop post-cardiotomy shock typically require inotropic support and may ultimately require temporary mechanical circulatory support. Post-cardiotomy shock carries a high mortality rate. However, early recognition and prevention strategies can help mitigate the risk for developing post-cardiotomy shock.

The modern CICU has evolved to include patients with complex pulmonary mechanics requiring more non-invasive and mechanical ventilation. Series co-chairs Dr. Eunice Dugan and Dr. Karan Desai along with CardioNerds Co-founder Dr. Amit Goyal were joined by FIT lead, Dr. Sam Brusca, who has completed his NIH Critical Care and UCSF Cardiology fellow and currently faculty at USCF. We were fortunate enough to have two expert discussants: Dr. Burton Lee, Head of Medical Education and Global Critical Care within the National Institutes of Health Critical Care Medicine Department and master clinician educator with the ATS Scholar’s Critical Care for Non-Intensivists program, and Dr. Chris Barnett, ACC Critical Care Cardiology council member and Section Chair of Critical Care Cardiology at UCSF.  In this episode, these experts discuss the basics of mechanical ventilation, including the physiology/pathophysiology of negative and positive pressure breathing, a review of ventilator modes, and a framework for outlining the goals of mechanical ventilation. They proceed to apply these principles to patients in the CICU, specifically focusing on patients with RV predominant failure due to pulmonary hypertension and patients with LV predominant failure. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy Intern, student doctor, Shivani Reddy.

With the advent and rapid evolution of contemporary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), the early invasive management of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) has become a mainstay in therapy with significant impact on patient outcomes. However, despite modern advances in technology and system-based practices, AMI presenting with cardiogenic shock (CS) continues to portend a high risk of morbidity and mortality. Few randomized controlled clinical trials are available to guide decision-making in this uniquely challenging patient population. Understanding the pathophysiologic mechanism by which injury occurs and propagates the shock cycle can be instrumental in selecting an appropriate strategy for revascularization and left ventricular unloading. In this episode we are joined by Dr. Venu Menon, The Mehdi Razavi Endowed Chair and Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine,  section head of clinical cardiology, fellowship program director, and director of the Cardiac intensive care unit at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Menon shares his wealth of knowledge and experience to help us review the contemporary data available for AMI CS management in a case-based discussion. We are also joined by Dr. Priya Kothapalli, star chief fellow and future interventionalist from University of Texas at Austin, series co-chair Dr. Yoav Karpenshif, and CardioNerds Co-founders Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternDr. Christian Faaborg-Andersen.

In this episode we discuss cardiogenic shock due to valvular heart disease. Join Dr. Pranoti Hiremath (Interventional cardiology fellow, Johns Hopkins), Dr. Karan Desai (CN Critical Care Series Co-Chair, Cardiology fellow, University of Maryland), Dr. Yoav Karpenshif (CN Critical Care Series Co-Chair, Chief cardiology fellow, University of Pennsylvania), and Amit Goyal (CardioNerds Co-Founder) as they interview Dr. Paul Cremer (Associate Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and Associate Director of the Cardiovascular Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic) in this broad overview of valvular shock. We discuss the nuances in diagnosis, differing presentations and how physical exam, multi-modality imaging, and invasive hemodynamics can inform management. Audio editing by Dr. Gurleen Kaur (Director of the CardioNerds Internship and CardioNerds Academy Fellow).

Approximately 350,000 adults per year in the US experienced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Only about 10% of such patients survive their initial hospitalization. The key drivers of successful resuscitation from OHCA are bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and public use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Survival rates from OHCA vary dramatically between US regions. For instance, the extracorporeal CPR (eCPR) program at the University of Minnesota has over a 40% survival rate in patients with OHCA and refractory ventricular fibrillation (VF) based on data published in the ARREST trial. In this episode, we are joined by experts from the University of Minnesota, including Dr. Jason Bartos (Interventional and Critical Care Faculty) and Dr. Julie Power (Chief Fellow at University of Minnesota and CardioNerds Academy Fellow), along with Dr. Yoav Karpenshif (Co-Chair Critical Care Series, University of Pennsylvania) and CardioNerds Co-Founders (Amit Goyal and Dan Ambinder) to discuss cardiac arrest, E-CPR, & post-arrest care. This includes targeted temperature management, coronary angiography and revascularization, as well as the growing field of eCPR and VA ECMO.  Episode introduction by CardioNerds Clinical Trialist Dr. Jason Feinman. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternShivani Reddy.

The hemodynamic evaluation of cardiogenic shock obtained via a Swan-Ganz catheter plays an essential role in the characterization of cardiogenic shock patients. Join Dr. Nosheen Reza, (Assistant Professor of Medicine and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant cardiologist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania), episode fellow lead Dr. Brian McCauley (Interventional and Critical Care Fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania), Dr. Mark Belkin (Cardiac Critical Care Series Co-Chair and AHFT fellow at University of Chicago), and CardioNerds Co-Founders, Amit Goyal and Dan Ambinder, for this tour through the heart aboard the Swan-Ganz catheter. In this episode, we evaluate three separate admissions for a single patient to highlight pearls regarding waveform assessment, evaluating cardiac output, phenotyping hemodynamic profiles, targeted therapies based on hemodynamics and so much more. Episode introduction and audio editing by Dr. Gurleen Kaur (Director of the CardioNerds Internship).

Cardiogenic shock is a state of cardiac dysfunction leading to hemodynamic instability and end-organ hypoperfusion. At the bedside, clinicians take various data points – from history to physical exam to labs/imaging and invasive hemodynamics – to make an assessment of the etiology, severity and management of cardiogenic shock. Health systems have developed “Shock Teams” to collectively interpret this data to deliver the optimal care for each patient. In this episode, Dr. Mark Dela Cruz (Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Fellow at University of Chicago), CardioNerds Critical Care Series Co-Chairs Dr. Mark Belkin (Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Fellow at University of Chicago) and Dr. Karan Desai (General Cardiology Fellow at University of Maryland), and CardioNerds Co-Founder Dr. Daniel Ambinder (Structural Fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital) join Dr. Anu Lala (Director of the AHFT Fellowship, Associate Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at Mount Sinai Hospital and Deputy Editor of the Journal of Cardiac Failure) on a Shock Team Call! Dr. Lala leads us in a discussion of the systematic bedside evaluation of cardiogenic shock, from understanding a patient’s physiology and their humanity, to manage their illness and make a rapid but thorough evaluation when on the Shock Call. Audio editing and episode introduction by CardioNerds Academy InternHirsh Elhence.

The CardioNerds are thrilled to launch The Cardiac Critical Care Series! The series Co-Chairs – Dr. Mark Belkin (Advanced Heart Failure FIT, U Chicago), Dr. Yoav Karpenshif (FIT, U Penn), Dr. Eunice Dugan (CardioNerds Academy Chief Fellow and FIT, Cleveland Clinic), and Dr. Karan Desai (CardioNerds Academy Editor and FIT, U Maryland) – join CardioNerds Co-Founders, Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder to delve into high-yield topics in critical care cardiology.

We kickstart this series with one of the early pioneers and national leaders in cardiac critical care – Dr. Jason Katz, Director of Cardiovascular Critical Care and Co-Director of Mechanical Circulatory Support and the CICU at Duke University Medical Center.

In this episode, we learn about Dr. Katz’s career path and what motivated him to train in Critical Care Cardiology. He shares early struggles, notable changes in this field’s nascent period, and ongoing challenges in training and practice. We discuss collaboration with other cardiac and non-cardiac specialties and their importance in comprehensive care. Furthermore, we discuss how to advance critical care research, including the Critical Care Cardiology Trials Network and future randomized controlled trials to inform our practice and develop standardized protocols. In this small but rapidly growing field, we learn there is much to discover together. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternHirsh Elhence.

CardioNerds CCC Collection (Includes all CCC episodes)

Cardiac Critical Care Disease Series Co-Chairs!

Dr. Mark Belkin

Dr. Mark Belkin

University of Chicago

Mark Belkin is a Advanced Heart Failure Fellow at the University of Chicago. He attended Tulane University for his undergraduate degree before returning to his home town for medical school at Rush University in Chicago. He completed Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Chicago before staying on for General Cardiology Fellowship. He is excited to start his Advanced Heart Failure & Transplantation Fellowship at University of Chicago in the upcoming academic year. Mark has been involved in the Critical Care Cardiology groups in both the AHA and ACC. His research interests include identifying invasive hemodynamic markers in cardiogenic shock that may help guide individualized treatment decisions and help inform the prognosis for myocardial recovery. In his spare time, Mark enjoys spending time with this wife, Anna, and their rescue pup, Buster Bluth Belkin.

Eunice Dugan, MD

Eunice Dugan

Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Eunice Dugan is a cardiology fellow at Cleveland Clinic. She is a graduate of the Osler Medical Residency program at Johns Hopkins. She majored in Vocal Performance and Biology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and went to medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Eunice plans to purse a career in Critical Care Cardiology with research interests in intensive care unit outcomes. She is passionate about clinical teaching and innovations in cardiology medical education. Outside of the hospital, Eunice enjoys hikes with her husband and two dogs, listening to choral music, playing volleyball, and planning her next travel adventure. 

Karan Desai, MD is a cardiology fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and he has teamed up with the Cardionerds Cardiology Podcast to help produce the Case Report Series

Dr. Karan Desai

University of Maryland

Dr. Karan Desai is a cardiology fellow at the University of Maryland. He completed his medical school at Albany Medical College and went on to residency training at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he also served as Assistant Chief of Service. He is passionate about medical education and clinical reasoning and has been recognized with clinical teaching awards in both residency and fellowship. Karan’s clinical and research interests include critical care cardiology, mechanical circulatory support and structural imaging.

When not in the hospital, Karan is spending time exploring DC with his wife (@NeenaJubeDesai) and rooting on the 76ers as a #trusttheprocess diehard.

Dr. Yoav Karpenshif

Dr. Yoav Karpenshif

University of Pennsylvania

Yoav Karpenshif is a cardiology fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed medical school at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine before doing his residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Yoav is passionate about the intersection of medical education, technology, and healthcare quality. He is interested in echocardiography and critical care in cardiology. You can often find him in front of a whiteboard teaching all things cardiology. Outside of the hospital he enjoys a good cup of coffee, all things Philadelphia, and time with his family.