St. Paul’s Hospital
Room 220, 1033 Davie Street
Vancouver V6E 1M7
The son of a family physician who worked throughout British Columbia’s small towns from Prince George to Abbotsford, Dr. Krahn is passionate about families in his research and clinical practice. His expertise lies in management of cardiac arrhythmias, and his research interests include investigation of genetic causes of arrhythmias, sudden cardiac arrest, syncope and implantable arrhythmia devices.
His education has taken him from BC to Manitoba with London, Ontario as the start of his electrophysiology career. After 18 years leading research in a busy heart rhythm clinic he returned to Vancouver, British Columbia in the summer of 2012 to lead the British Columbia Inherited Arrhythmia Program. He is internationally respected for his research in this area and is funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Institute of Health Research. He has many accomplishments; has published 368 papers in peer-reviewed journals, is an Associate Editor for Heart Rhythm, sits on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, and is Vice President of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the Sauder Family Chair, UBC Chief of Cardiology, the Paul Brunes Chair in Heart Rhythm Disorders and Secretary Treasurer for the Heart Rhythm Society. With his wife and daughter he enjoys skiing, hiking, golf and a good glass of red wine.
Education and Training
- Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada
- Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society
Area of Interest
Dr. Krahn’s dual research interests span from collaborations with basic science researchers on gene sequencing to clinical studies of diagnostic test utility to single and multicenter randomized trials evaluating the diagnostic and therapeutic utility of novel interventions in patients with arrhythmia.
His interest in genetic arrhythmias began with the bedside clinical assessment of patients with Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) during exercise testing. This involved description of novel clinical markers of this congenital repolarization syndrome. With the advent of linkage analysis and subsequent DNA sequencing to identify mutations underlying LQTS, he sought a “bedside to bench to bedside” approach, collaborating with several basic science researchers regarding genetic discovery and expression. This work continues with novel clinical and genetic observations.
Currently Dr. Krahn leads 3 national registries and biobanks:
- CASPER, funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation through 2019, examining genotype-phenotype correlation in patients with suspected inherited arrhythmias. The key contributions arising from this work are the description of QT changes with exercise, the novel utility of provocative testing in recognizing the cause of unexplained cardiac arrest, the novel recognition of early repolarization in idiopathic VF patients in CASPER and the description of somatic mutations underlying “lone” atrial fibrillation. Recent work has focused on family studies and merits of genetic testing.
- The national ARVC registry and biobank received $580,000 pilot funding from industry and peer reviewed sources, which has published a design paper on the first 400 patients enrolled and a paper on ICD performance. Ongoing enrolment is seeking peer reviewed funding with a target of 1500 patients.
- The National Long QT registry and biobank is supported by the Heart and Stroke 3 year grant and CIHR 5 year operating grant to create a nationwide profile of Long QT patients and families, and determine their natural history and optimal management. The registry has enrolled 370 patients. Our most recent observations are QT dynamic changes in eating disorders that suggest a marker for risk of sudden death in patients suffering from anorexia nervosa.
The underlying theme of his work has formed a Canadian collaboration for the study of rare heart rhythm conditions in registries and biobanks and led to the formation of the Hearts in Rhythm Organization or HIRO (www.heartsinrhythm.ca) to support researchers, clinicians and patients with their families. HiRO aims to facilitate collaborative research and engage patients and families with inherited arrhythmias, as well as ensure high quality and standardized care across Canada, ultimately helping to prevent sudden death from these devastating conditions.