Christopher Durst, MD
Christopher Durst, M.D.
Chris Durst’s research is primarily focused in the fields of diagnostic and interventional neuroradiology. To date, Dr. Durst’s research has focused on three main areas: spectroscopy and its use in the evaluation of neurologic disorders, differentiation and improved delineation of tumor, and evaluation of neurointerventional radiology techniques.
Traditionally, GABA has been difficult to isolate with MR Spectroscopy. However, using a spin echo variant of a J-difference editing technique, it is possible to suppress the creatine signal at 3 ppm without effecting the GABA peak. Several researchers have used this technique to demonstrate medication effects on GABA levels in patients with neurological disorders, including epilepsy, dementia, depression, and others. This project aims to expand upon this previous work by isolating GABA levels throughout the cortex, exploring regional differences in a host of neurologic disorders.
MR guided focused Ultrasound
By focusing a large number of ultrasound arrays at a small focus, the summation of the acoustic waves is absorbed and converted to heat by the tissue. When combining this high intensity focused ultrasound with MR imaging, a single lesion can be noninvasively thermally ablated. To date, MR guided focused ultrasound (MRgfUS) has been approved by the FDA for use in fibroids and multiple efficacy studies are underway to evaluate the use of MRgfUS in the prostate, bone metastases, and others. This project aims to evaluate intracranial uses of the MRgfUS.
Glial Tumor Definition
Advanced imaging techniques have provided neuroradiologists with tools to differentiate glial tumors from metastases and other disease processes much earlier in the disease process. However, despite these advances, imaging techniques remain limited in defining the extent of invasion prior to surgical resection. This limits the neurosurgeon’s ability to attain free margins at surgery. The aim of this project is to evaluate conventional and advanced MR imaging techniques in comparison with surgical biopsies to define an algorithm that would better differentiate the extent of infiltration in primary gliomas.
The Interventional Neuroradiology department at the University of Virginia performs approximately 5,000 endovascular procedures each year. As such, there is a wealth of knowledge, experience, and data that is available for evaluation and interpretation. Amongst this data are several novel techniques that have been developed for the treatment of dural arteriovenous fistulas, arteriovenous malformations, and aneurysms. The results from these new techniques is being accumulated and statistically compared to today’s standard practices. Additionally, the vast amount of past data available lends itself to retrospective studies, which may help better define appropriate intervention and post-procedure care for the patient.