Melanie Wittwer

Mrs Melanie Wittwer

PhD Candidate - Research Assistant

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


PhD candidate at the Lyell McEwin Hospital, Department of Cardiology investigating the incidence, management, and outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Research Assistant at the Lyell McEwin Hospital, Department of Cardiology.

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.    

 

My PhD Project

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is an extreme medical condition associated with high mortality, a diverse underlying aetiology, complex prognostication and surprisingly good outcomes for the few who survive to hospital discharge. My research will address many of the gaps in our understanding of presentation, treatment and outcomes within the North Adelaide Local Health Network.

 

Surviving Cardiac Arrest in Northern Adelaide

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 and Masters

Location: Lyell McEwin Hospital 

Research project start: Semester 1 and 2

Special requirements: Police clearance and vaccinations

 

Microvascular Studies

Blood flow is primarily regulated by the microvasculature, which comprises of the small arteries, arterioles, capillaries and venules. Dysfunction of the microvasculature is common in many disease states including hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Our research group is interested in how various diseases affect microvascular blood flow and how different drugs or other therapies may improve vasodilation and/or constriction.

  • Preeclampsia
  • Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia
  • Childhood Asthma
  • Non-obstructive Coronary Artery Disease

We use a toolkit approach by employing several non-invasive techniques to measure microvascular structure and function including skin Doppler, retinal photography, pulse wave analysis, cardiac haemodynamics and platelet aggregometry. 

 

Gender differences in Coronary Artery Disease

VIRGO is the largest study of young (≤55years) males and females after acute myocardial infarction. While men make up >70% of the population of young and middle-aged Australians with AMI, our findings together with those from the US and Spain, suggest that younger women with AMI represent a unique population and warrant further attention. 

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2019 Aldridge, E., Mollen, J., Verburg, P., Wittwer, M., Dekker, G., Roberts, C., & Arstall, M. (2019). Agreement of aneroid and oscillometric blood pressure devices used in pregnancy. Pregnancy Hypertension, 17, 43-48.
    DOI
    2015 Wittwer, M., Rajendran, S., Kealley, J., & Arstall, M. (2015). A South Australian registry of biphasic cardioversions of atrial arrhythmias: efficacy and predictors of success. Heart Lung and Circulation, 24(4), 342-347.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS3 Europe PMC3
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2018 Clifton, V. L., Jones, A., Morrison, J., Wright, I. M., Kandasamy, Y., Wittwer, M. R., & Arstall, M. A. (2018). Maternal Asthma during Pregnancy is Associated with Altered Retinal Microvascular Structure in Childhood.. Poster session presented at the meeting of REPRODUCTIVE SCIENCES. San Diego, CA: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC.
    2017 Wittwer, M. R., Wu, S., Beltrame, J., Zeitz, C., & Arstall, M. A. (2017). Cardiologists Accurately Predict Resuscitated Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Patients that do not Require Immediate Cardiac Catheterisation. Poster session presented at the meeting of Circulation. Anaheim, CA: American Heart Association, Inc..
    2016 Wittwer, M., Chow, Y. Y., Dekker, G., Clifton, V., & Arstall, M. (2016). F5. Skin microvascular dysfunction in preeclampsia persists to the postpartum period. Poster session presented at the meeting of The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine.
    DOI
    2016 Chow, Y., Wittwer, M., Dekker, G., Clifton., & Arstall, V. (2016). E2. Preeclampsia is associated with persistent arterial stiffness into the postpartum period despite recovery of the vasoconstrictive state. Poster session presented at the meeting of The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine.
    DOI
    2015 Wittwer, M. R., & Arstall, M. A. (2015). Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests Surviving to Hospital Admission: 5-Year Single-Centre Experience. Poster session presented at the meeting of 10th International Spark of Life Conference.
    2015 Chow, Y. Y., Wittwer, M. R., Dekker, G., Clifton, V., & Arstall, M. A. (2015). Skin microvascular reactivity in preeclampsia. Poster session presented at the meeting of Microcirculation. Leura, NSW: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    DOI
    2015 Chow, Y. Y., Mahadavan, D., Dekker, G., Warren, N., Wittwer, M., Clifton, V., & Arstall, M. (2015). O118. Subsequent preeclampsia is associated with worse subclinical left ventricular dysfunction. Poster session presented at the meeting of Pregnancy Hypertension: An International Journal of Women's Cardiovascular Health.
    DOI
    2015 Wittwer, M. R., Chow, Y. Y., & Arstall, M. A. (2015). Women admitted to hospital after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have fewer culprit ‘ACS’ lesions on the coronary angiogram. Poster session presented at the meeting of Heart, Lung and Circulation. Melbourne Convention Centre: Elsevier.
    DOI
    2015 Wittwer, M. R., Chow, Y. Y., Dekker, G., Clifton, V., & Arstall, M. A. (2015). Skin microvascular function in women with peripartum anaemia. Poster session presented at the meeting of Microcirculation. Kyoto International Conference Centre, Japan.
    DOI
    2012 Wittwer, M. R., Kealley, J., & Arstall, M. A. (2012). Biphasic Cardioversions of Atrial Tachyarrhythmias: The Role of High-Energy Defibrillators in a Local Hospital Setting. Poster session presented at the meeting of Heart, Lung and Circulation. Brisbane Convention Centre: Elsevier Inc..
    DOI
  • Position: PhD Candidate - Research Assistant
  • Phone: 83132129
  • Email: melanie.wittwer@adelaide.edu.au
  • Building: LMH - Main Building, floor 2
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Medical School

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