Margaret Arstall

Dr Margaret Arstall

Director of Cardiology

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

A/Prof Margaret Arstall is the Director of Cardiology at the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NAHLN) since 2007. She is also an Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide. Margaret is an academic cardiologist and has numerous roles in research, clinical and teaching settings.

Her academic training includes medical studies and PhD with the University of Adelaide. She trained as a cardiologist at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. As a Heart Foundation Ralph Reader Overseas Research Fellow (1996-1999), an RACP JJ Billings Overseas Research Scholar (1996) and Thomas W Smith Research Scholar (1997), she was able to continue post-doctoral research at Harvard University before returning to TQEH in Adelaide as a cardiologist and clinical academic. She then accepted the role of Director of Cardiology at NALHN.

Research Interests

Margaret is the founder of the newly establish Northern Cardiovascular Research Group, based in the northern suburbs of Adelaide. This team is made up of both clinicians and scientists located at the Lyell McEwin Hospital who work closely with a number of other local research groups. She is also a principal investigator and research leader of the Cardiac Obstetric Researchers of Northern Adelaide (CORONA). Margaret has research interests in:

  • Cardiovascular risk, pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, vascular function, and outcomes in women.
  • The pathophysiology and pharmacology of oxidative stress in myocardial ischemia, reperfusion and cardiac failure
  • Coronary Angiogram Database of South Australia (CADOSA)
  • Translational research in resuscitation medicine, including effectiveness research for survivors of out of hospital cardiac arrest and development of systems of care for the deteriorating patient in an acute health setting.
Available Research Projects

Northern Cardiovascular Research Group (Lyell McEwin Hospital)

Our research group aims to improve outcomes for people with cardiovascular disease in northern Adelaide. Our main research themes include management of coronary heart disease, heart disorders during pregnancy, and heart disease in women. We are a passionate team of clinicians and scientists who have a strong focus on collaborative clinical research in a hospital setting. The diversity of our research strengths and methods means that there are many opportunities for students to explore and develop their own research interests.


Research Project 1 - Pregnancy and heart disease

Project description: Traditional risk factors for heart disease include hypertension, diabetes, smoking and obesity. There is clear evidence indicating that pregnancy complications should be counted as equally important risk factors, but they are not routinely considered by clinicians in risk assessments. This project seeks to explore the influence of pregnancy complications on future health of women who present to the Lyell McEwin Hospital with heart disease.

Projects available for: Honours / HDR / Masters
Location: LMH
Research project start: Semester 1 and 2 
Special requirements: Police clearance and vaccinations


Research Project 2 - Cardiac Obstetric Registry of South Australia (COROSA)

Project description: COROSA is a collaboration between cardiology and obstetrics at the Lyell McEwin Hospital. We know that women with heart disease are more likely to have poor outcomes of pregnancy, but we have limited understanding of prevention and treatment techniques for these patients. Analysis of medical and demographic information about pregnant women who have heart disease may allow important advancements to be made towards improvement in patient care and outcomes. Projects can be tailored to suit interests of students. 

Projects available for: Third Year / Honours / HDR / Masters
Location: LMH
Research project start:
Semester 1 and 2

Special requirements: Police Clearance and vaccination required


Research Project 3 - Cardiovascular assessment after obstetric complications: follow-up for education and evaluation (COFFEE)

Project description: This study is an exciting partnership between cardiology and obstetrics based at the Lyell McEwin Hospital. Women who experience complications of pregnancy have an increased risk of developing future cardiovascular disease. The COFFEE program is the first Australian research-informed, clinical-based postpartum initiative for women who have had pregnancy complications. We have a variety of both clinic- and lab-based projects available with a strong emphasis on translatable clinical research. 

Projects available for: Third Year / Honours / HDR / Masters
Location: LMH
Research project start:
Semester 1 and 2

Special requirements: Police clearance and vaccinations


Research Project 4 - Surviving Cardiac Arrest in Northern Adelaide

Project description: Only 1 in 10 people will survive after a cardiac arrest occurring outside of the hospital in northern Adelaide. In order to develop strategies to improve this high mortality rate, we have start an ongoing registry that offers the opportunity to explore each facet of the patient journey from arrest through to hospital discharge and beyond. Our projects mainly have a cardiology focus with input from hospital physicians and SAAS paramedics, but there is potential for broader collaborations with epidemiology, rehabilitation medicine, outcomes research and psychiatry. Small to medium projects can be adapted to suit the interests of summer research and honours students. Two broad PhD projects are available: firstly, a statewide study of physician-led decision-making for emergency cardiac catheterisation, including a trial of a treatment algorithm to improve survival; and secondly, a study of physical, mental and emotional outcomes after discharge with the opportunity to develop and trial an intervention to improve survivor and caregiver health status.

Projects available for: Third Year / Honours / HDR / Masters
Location: LMH
Research project start:
Semester 1 and 2

Special requirements: Police clearance and vaccinations


  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2013 Director of Cardiology Northern Adelaide Local Health Network, SA
    2013 Associate Professor University of Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    1997 Fellowship Thomas W Smith Fellowship in Cardiology Research. Harvard Medical School
    1995 Fellowship National Heart Foundation of Australia Ralph Reader Overseas Research Fellowship
    1995 Fellowship Royal Australasian College of Physicians JJ Billings Overseas Research Fellowship 1995.
    1992 Scholarship National Heart Foundation Postgraduate Medical Research Scholarship
    1992 Scholarship Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand travelling scholarships
    1991 Award Winner of the 1991 Queen Elizabeth Hospital presentation of scientific papers by advanced trainees
    1991 Award Winner of the 1991 Royal Australasian College of Physicians (South Australian Branch) presentation of scientific papers by advanced trainees
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1996 University of Adelaide Australia Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine)
    1985 University of Adelaide Australia MBBS
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2004 Fellow Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand
    1992 Fellow The Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Clinical and Basic Research Support
1999  The effect of rest and exercise on oxidative stress in congestive cardiac failure Arstall MA. Pfizer Cardio-Vascular and Lipid Research Grant $50,000
2002-2004 Pathogenesis of aortic stenosis; relationship to valvular endothelial dysfunction. Horowitz JD, Kennedy JA, Chirkov YY, MacDonald P, Arstall MA. NHMRC Project Grant 207736 $253,381
2008-2010 SeCReT study: The effect of cardiac resynchronisation therapy on myocardial oxidative stress and bundle branch block interventricular septal ischaemia in patient with heart failure eligible for CRT M Arstall Medtronic Australia $60,000
2007 Equipment grant. M Arstall Heart Foudation SA Branch $7000
2008-2010 G 07A 3109; The early use of N-AcetylCysteine in acute myocardial infarction (The NACIAM Study)   Heart Foundation Australia Project Grant  


    1998-2006 Assist in the supervision of cardiology advanced physician trainees at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
    2007 – current Supervisor of advanced training in cardiology at the Lyell McEwin Hospital


    2007 - current

    Assist in the training of interns, training medical officers and junior physician trainees at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and

    Lyell McEwin Hospital

    1992 - current Assist in teaching of medical students with teaching ward rounds on CCU and tutorials on cardiology topics
    2007- current Intern teaching workshops at Lyell McEwin Hospital quarterly.
    2005-2007 TQEH co-ordinator of 4th / 5th year University of Adelaide medical student cardiovascular procedures and imaging program
    2011 – current Advanced adult Life Support Instructor with the Australian Resuscitation Council and member of faculty in two ARC ALS courses per year.
    2010 – current Work experience opportunities: supervision of high school student work experience attachments to the cardiology unit at LMH. These attachments have assisted several students in successfully entering medical school.

    Invited lectures on cardiology topics

    1. Physicians as in-hospital seminars, pharmaceutical company-sponsored lectures, and invited lectures at scientific sessions. I average one lecture per quarter in the last two years. For example, I was invited to speak at the ANZICS 2005 Annual Scientific Meeting on Counter-pulsation therapy and the SOMANZ 2008 Scientific Meeting on aortic and mitral stenosis in pregnancy.
    2. General Practitioners at the request of the Division of GPs in Western Metropolitan, Northern Metropolitan, Gawler, Barossa, Mid-North and Eyre Peninsula divisions. I have also given pharmaceutical-sponsored lectures on many occasions. These planned workshops are ongoing with the newly structured Medicare Locals.
    3. Nurses and Pharmacists at in-hospital seminars and update meetings such as the 2005 TQEH Diabetes update week, 2010 Obstetric update seminars at LMH, Whyalla Hospital HDU workshops 2009 – 2010, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia SA Branch 2012.
    4. Community Groups. I have spoken to many groups including the Heart Foundation SA Branch Heartline staff and community seminars, Heart Support Australia and Heart Beat patient support groups, church groups, primary schools and service clubs.



    • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

      Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
      2019 Principal Supervisor Cardiac Disease in Pregnancy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Sindy Millington
      2018 Co-Supervisor Pregnancy Complications and Risk of Future Cardiovascular Disease Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Emily Louise Aldridge
      2017 Principal Supervisor Coronary and Peripheral Haemodynamic Studies in Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Population with Angina Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Eng Lee Ooi
      2016 Principal Supervisor Incidence, Management and Outcome of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Melanie Ruth Wittwer
    • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

      Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
      2014 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Interactions between Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy and Amelioration of Peripheral Vascular Dysfunction: Impact upon Outcomes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Chukwudiebube Nnanna Ajaero
      2010 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Gender Disparities in Vascular Disease Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Rachel Dreyer
      1998 - 2002 Principal Supervisor The Expression, Regulation and Effects of Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase in Hibernating Myocardium Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Anke Sigrid Warner
    • Board Memberships

      Date Role Board name Institution name Country
      2003 - 2015 Director Heart Foundation, SA Branch
      2003 - 2006 Northern and Western Adelaide metropolitan area branches of Heart Support Australia
    • Committee Memberships

      Date Role Committee Institution Country
      2006 - 2008 Chair QUIT SA steering committee
      2005 - ongoing Member Heart Foundation of Australia, Research Grants Interview Committee
      2004 - 2011 Member Cardio-Vascular and Lipid Research Grants, Pfizer Australia
    • Memberships

      Date Role Membership Country
      2015 - ongoing Member Heart Foundation Australia
    • Position: Director of Cardiology
    • Email:
    • Campus: Lyell McEwin Hospital
    • Building: Lyell McEwin Hospital
    • Org Unit: Medical Specialties

    Connect With Me
    External Profiles