Holy Cross Student Presents Research to Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society

Research was conducted during the summer of 2013 as part of the College’s Summer Internship Program

March 20th, 2014 by 

At the winter meeting of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society (PVSS) in Steamboat Springs, Colo. on Jan. 30, Stephanie Carvalho ’14, a pre-med biology major with a concentration in biological psychology, presented a case report on work performed by Dr. Mark F. Conrad, director of Clinical Research and assistant program director in the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. Their project, “A Rare Case of May-Thurner Syndrome Presenting As An Iliac Vein Aneurysm,” was the first reported case of an external iliac vein aneurism in a patient with May-Thurner Syndrome that was successfully treated endovascularly.

Carvalho worked on the case report with Dr. Conrad while she was a clinical research assistant in the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Mass General, under the direction of Dr. Richard Cambria ’73, Chief of the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery and co-director of the Thoracic Aortic Center, during the summer of 2013 through the College’s Summer Internship Program (SIP).

Dr. Cambria, a parent of graduates in the classes of ’00, ’06, ’09 and ’11, has partnered with SIP since the summer of 2008.  The internship provides practical exposure to vascular and endovascular surgery and participation in clinical research.

The case report Carvalho presented at the conference focused on a patient that had May-Thurner’s syndrome, in addition to an external iliac vein aneurysm. “External iliac vein aneurysms are remarkably uncommon,” said Carvalho. “The majority of left external iliac vein aneurysms have been treated with open surgery, but the unique relationship to May-Thurner Syndrome in this case made an endovascular approach possible.” The endovascular approach is minimally invasive, and allowed the patient to avoid the risks of surgery for treatment, she explained.

“This is the first reported case of an external iliac vein aneurysm secondary to May-Thurner Syndrome that was successfully treated with stenting of the common iliac vein,” said Carvalho, noting that through the endovascular treatment of May-Thurner syndrome, there was a simultaneous reduction in the size and severity of the patient’s left external iliac vein aneurism.

Carvalho’s responsibilities at Massachusetts General Hospital included preparing for lab meetings, analyzing clinical research data, attending conferences, collaborating with peers, attending surgeries and clinics, and keeping an open line of communication with all of the members of the MGH community, in addition to the research presentation in January.

Since 2008, Dr. Cambria has hired 24 students, including four this past summer, to work with him and his team of researchers.   Previous interns include: Nicholas Cormier ’15; Patricia Giglio ’14; Ryan O’Keefe ’14; Michael Michalczyk ’13; Rita Malley ’13; Arissa Opalacz ’13; Andrew Cox ’12;   Michelle Foley ’12; Rio Nomoto ’12; Amily Atkinson ’11; Peter Laub ’11; Sarah Meng ’11; Jordan Trubiano ’11; Theron Fussel ’10; Ron Paranal ’10; Julie Guest ’09;  Brian Hendrickson ’09; Greg Leslie ’09; Ann Schufreider ’09.

About the Summer Internship Program (SIP)

SIP provides exceptional Holy Cross undergraduates with an opportunity to gain meaningful career related experience in an area related to a student’s occupational goals.  Internships are developed through the network of Holy Cross alumni, parents, and friends throughout the country and are earmarked and designed specifically for Holy Cross students. Internship sites span multiple industries and fields.

Related Information

For additional information, please contact Bridget Cass at 508-793-2419.

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