Dr Zachary Whinnett

Consultant Cardiologist at Imperial College NHS Trust. Specialist areas of expertise are pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, cardiac electrophysiology and cardiac resynchronisation therapy.

Speciality Cardiology Sub Speciality: Cardiac Electrophysiology - Arrhythmias, Pacing and Heart Failure

NHS Hospital Positions

  • Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical Lead for the pacemaker extraction service
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Honorary Senior Lecturer, Imperial College London

Clinical Interests

Dr Whinnett is a general cardiologist with a specialist interest in pacing, heart rhythm disturbances and heart failure. He performs ablation for atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, and implantation of pacemakers including cardiac resynchronisation devices and defibrillators. : His is the clinical lead for the pacemaker extraction service at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust.

He is a proctor for laser lead extraction procedures.

He has a special interest in the optimisation of cardiac resynchronisation devices and has developed a technique which allows this to be performed reliably using non-invasive blood pressure measurements.

Education and Training

Dr Whinnett graduated from the University of Nottingham. He undertook his medical training on the Barts and the London medical rotation. He completed a PhD at Imperial College London and received his specialist training at internationally recognised centres in London and Bordeaux.

Consultant Appointments

Dr Whinnett is a Consultant Cardiologist and works at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, principally at the Hammersmith and St Mary’s sites. He also sees patients in community outreach clinics in Maida Vale and South Westminster.

Research

Dr Whinnett leads a research program at Imperial College London which aims to advance pacing therapy for heart failure. He has published extensively in the field and has a large network of collaborators both within Imperial College London as well as with other leading centres in the United Kingdom and Internationally.

Some of the highlights of the program include the following:

The development of reliable tools for optimising Cardiac Resynchronisation Devices

Cardiac Resynchronisation therapy devices are believed to improve heart function by improving the timing of heart muscle activation. After the device has been implanted it is possible to adjust the timings of stimulation from the different leads of the pacemaker, Dr Whinnett and his collaborators have developed a new method which allows the best settings to be identified reliably using non-invasive blood pressure measurements. They are currently assessing the effect optimisation using this method has on exercise capacity, in a large British Heart Foundation sponsored study.

Improving the way Cardiac Resynchronisation therapy is delivered

Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy improves symptoms and reduces mortality in certain patients with heart failure, Dr Whinnett and his collaborators have shown that there is potential for improving the effectiveness of therapy, maybe by as much as double. They are therefore currently working on techniques to improve the way therapy is delivered in order to try to make it more effective.

Extending Pacing therapy to new groups of patients

Only certain patients with heart failure are currently offered pacing therapy, Dr Whinnett and his team have identified a new group of patients who may obtain improvements in cardiac function with a special pacing technique. They are currenlty working to investigate this further, with the aim of extending pacing therapy to this new group of patients with heart failure.

Training Roles

Dr Whinnett is actively involved in training and education, he is responsible for organising and teaching a module on arrhythmias for medical students undertaking a BSc in cardiovascular Sciences at Imperial College London, and supervises PhD students. He also regularly lectures other doctors at a national level and is often invited to speak at international conferences.

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