Dr. Meng Named FAER Grant Recipient

Marie-Louise Meng, MDThe Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) has awarded Duke Anesthesiology’s Marie-Louise Meng, MD, a two-year, $250,000 Mentored Research Training Grant for her project, “Cardiovascular Risk Prediction for Improved Maternal Health,” which aims to create a risk score to predict cardiovascular events after pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia (PreX) is a common cause of maternal morbidity and mortality, complicating 2-12 percent of pregnancies. PreX is a risk factor for acute and chronic cardiovascular (CV) disease. Mortality due to PreX is largely preventable, but despite this, accounts for more than 62,000 deaths per year globally. While PreX is a strong independent risk factor for postpartum CV events, there remains a challenge in identifying women with PreX who are at greatest risk for acute CV events, likely contributing to failure in preventing these complications.

Improved modeling may identify PreX patients at risk for CV events who would benefit from treatment for prevention of CV events. Using administrative data, an obstetric comorbidity index was developed to predict all forms of morbidity at delivery, however, this index is not PreX nor CV morbidity specific. Improved models specific to PreX could change management of these patients by improving prompt access to appropriate care.

The long-term goal of Meng’s research is to reduce CV morbidity due to PreX. The study’s objective is to create a comprehensive risk model to predict acute CV events in women with PreX. Meng’s central hypothesis is that a model inclusive of CV and PreX-specific factors will improve an existing obstetric comorbidity index. To test this hypothesis, she will leverage the Premier dataset and a combined Duke/University of North Carolina dataset to create and validate a CV event specific risk score in women with PreX using both traditional and machine learning methods; then, prospectively add measures of plasma biomarkers to improve model performance.

Meng’s research project mentors are Duke Anesthesiology’s Dr. Ashraf Habib (secondary), chief of the department’s Women’s Anesthesiology Division, and Duke Medicine’s Dr. Svati Shah (primary). “I am grateful for the opportunity to complete this project and for Dr. Shah’s devoted mentorship,” says Meng, assistant professor of anesthesiology.

Stacey HiltonDr. Meng Named FAER Grant Recipient