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Duke Center for Aortic Disease Research Program

Photo of George Charles Hughes IV, MD

George Charles Hughes IV, MD

Office: 3580 White Zone, Duke South, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: Box 3051 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: 919-668-0903

Scientific Focus


Objective: To further our understanding of the pathophysiology of aortic diseases, develop better surgical and non-surgical treatments, and improve short- and long-term outcomes after thoracic aortic surgery.

Key Projects

Treatment and Outcomes of Acute and Chronic Aortic Dissection

  • Risk factors for Type A dissection
  • Decision analysis in Type A dissection
  • Outcomes of acute Type A dissection repair
  • Management of acute and chronic Type B dissection
  • Understanding aortic remodeling in Type B dissection

Improving Outcomes after Proximal Aortic Surgery

  • Frailty and risk in proximal aortic surgery
  • Preoperative cardiac catheterization and acute kidney injury
  • Deep and moderate hypothermia in aortic arch surgery
  • Antegrade vs. retrograde cerebral perfusion
  • Predictors and management of intraoperative bleeding
  • Predictors of prolonged mechanical ventilation
  • Contemporary results for proximal aortic replacement
  • Circulatory arrest at advanced age

Improving Outcomes after Thoracic Endovascular Aortic Repair (TEVAR)

  • Endovascular repair of descending thoracic aortic aneurysm
  • The role of coronary evaluation before TEVAR
  • Selective preoperative lumbar drain placement for TEVAR
  • Selective left subclavian artery revascularization for TEVAR
  • Intrathoracic subclavian artery aneurysm repair
  • Complications of TEVAR
  • Risk factors for mortality after TEVAR
  • Results of TEVAR six years after FDA approval
  • Mid-term results with TEVAR for chronic Type B aortic dissection

Developing and Advancing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement with a self-expanding prosthesis
  • Comparison of short- and mid-term results of Balloon-expandable vs. Self-expanding TAVR
  • Learning curve for TAVR

Understanding the Impact of Socioeconomic Factors on Outcomes after Thoracic Aortic Surgery

  • Insurance status and outcomes of proximal aortic surgery

Management of Bicuspid Aortic Valve (BAV) Disease and Other Genetic Syndromes

  • Individualized thoracic aortic replacement for BAV
  • Total aortic replacement in Loeys-Dietz Syndrome

Understanding the Genetic Basis Underlying Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms (TAA)

  • Plasma biomarkers for distinguishing subtypes of TAA
  • Genomic and metabolomic profiling of TAA


  • Nicholas Andersen - Duke General Surgery Resident Research Award, 2nd Place Winner (2013)
  • Nicholas Andersen - Duke General Surgery Resident Research Award, 1st Place Winner (2014)
  • Brian R. Englum - Finalist AATS C. Walton Lillehei Resident Forum  (2014)
  • Asvin Ganapathi – NIH loan repayment program (2012-2014)
  • Asad Shah - American Thoracic Society International Conference Travel Award (2011)
  • Judson Williams - Samson Resident Finalist, Paul C. Samson Resident Manuscript Competition at the 37th Annual Meeting of the Western Thoracic Surgical Association (2011)
  • Judson Williams - First Place, Podium Presentation at SC-NC American College of Surgeons Annual Meeting, Scientific Session Competition (2010)

Latest Publications

Venkatraman, Vishal, Madison Ponder, Ziad F. Gellad, Shivanand P. Lad, Edana Christy, Ryan Plichta, John Kevin Harrison, George Chad Hughes, and Julie Doberne. “Feasibility study of a novel digital health platform for patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement.” J Card Surg 37, no. 7 (July 2022): 2017–22.

Full Text

Weissler, Elizabeth H., Oyomoare Osazuwa-Peters, N Chantelle Hardy, Firas Mussa, Panos Kougias, Sean O’Brien, Daniel Mark, et al. “Early TEVAR for Uncomplicated Type B Aortic Dissection Does Not Improve Outcomes in a National Sample.” In Journal of Vascular Surgery, 75:E104–5, 2022.