David Prior is the Deputy Director of Cardiology at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne and an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne. As a lifelong recreational athlete and clinical cardiologist, he saw that, in Australia, unlike other countries, there was little expertise in heart problems in athletes, an area where specific knowledge is more likely to produce the best outcomes for the athlete, allowing them to exercise safely. His interest in assessment of heart function using ultrasound to identify heart problems early, led to research in the effects of endurance exercise on heart function and the possible roles for screening prior to exercise in athletes. Using his knowledge of exercise, clinical cardiology and the specific needs of athletes, he established Melbourne Sports Cardiology, Australia’s first specific Sports and Exercise Cardiology Clinic, at Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre.
David’s expertise has been recognised with invitations to speak at conferences both nationally and internationally about the effects of exercise on cardiac structure and function. He is a member of the Sports and Exercise Council of the American College of Cardiology. He continues with research in Sports and Exercise Cardiology and has provided guidance and advice on cardiac testing to a number of AFL clubs, Olympic athletes and the Socceroos. He provides cardiac function testing with specific equipment for measuring cardiac function both at rest and during exercise. Availability of a stationary supine bicycle not commonly available for stress testing in Australia, allows testing of heart function at peak exercise to improve diagnostic accuracy in the athletic population.
As a recreational and competitive club level cyclist, he understands the priorities of athletes seeking advice about possible cardiac problems, and is able to individualise solutions and advice.
Career Highlights / Affiliations / Associations
Research / Publications
Professional Conference Presentations
- Port Douglas Heart 2015. Port Douglas, 2015. “Challenging cases in sports cardiology”.
- American College of Cardiology ASM 2015, San Diego, USA, 2015, “Evaluation of the RV: How to image and what are the important features?”
- American Heart Association Annual Scientific Sessions, Chicago, USA, 2014. “Progress in echocardiographic evaluation of the right ventricle”
- Sports Cardiology Seminar, Melbourne, 2014, “An Australian perspective on cardiovascular screening and politics”
- American Society of Echocardiography Annual Scientific Sessions , Portland, Oregon, USA, 2014, “Commonly Encountered Discrepancies in Echocardiography: Athlete or Pathology”,
- Stress Echo: Evaluation of Pulmonary Hypertension”
- EuroEcho Imaging 2013, Istanbul, Turkey, 2013. “The response of the right ventricle with increased afterload”
- Echocardiography Seminar, Kings College Hospital, London, UK, 2013. “The challenges of imaging the athlete’s heart”.
- American Society of Echocardiography Annual Scientific Sessions, Minneapolis USA, 2013, “Which imaging modality to use when? The right ventricle”, “The marathon: Endurance vs High-intensity training”.
- American College of Cardiology ASM, 2013, San Francisco, USA, 2013, “The Athlete’s Heart”
- Echo Hawaii, Kona, 2013, “Athlete’s heart or cardiomyopathy: What are the key features”, “Complications of acute myocardial infarction”, Pulmonary hypertension: assessing the cause and function of the right ventricle”, “Cancer and the heart: Effects of radiation and chemotherapy”
- Echo Australia, Melbourne, 2012, “The thick left ventricle: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Athlete’s Heart or something else?”, “Myocardial Mechanics Imaging: How does it help in Cardiomyopathies?”
- Cardiac Society of Australia & New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting, Brisbane, 2012. “Does LV shape and geometry effect global and regional function?”, “Physiological hypertrophy – The athlete’s heart”
- World Congress of Cardiology, Dubai UAE, 2012, “Novel measures of RV function — 3D/4D and strain: Are we there yet?”, “Natriuretic peptides for diagnosis of heart failure” and “Titin dynamics for the heart”
- Dimensions 2012, Melbourne, 2012, “Screening for cardiovascular disease in asymptomatic high risk patients”
- Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute International Symposium, Sydney 2011. “Latest developments in cardiac ultrasound”
- CSANZ Indigenous Cardiovascular Health Conference, Alice Springs 2011. “Rheumatic Heart Disease”
- American College of Cardiology Annual Sessions, New Orleans USA, 2011. “Heart failure management programs in Australia & New Zealand”
- Australian College of Sports Physicians Annual Scientific Meeting, QLD, 2010. “Cardiac Screening of Athletes”
- Cardiac Society Of Australia & New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting, Adelaide, 2010. “Should Australian athletes have pre-participation screening?”
- ASEANZ Cardiovascular & Metabolic Forum, Melbourne, 2010. “Mysteries of the right ventricle”
- Cardiac Society Of Australia & New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting, Sydney, 2009. “Exercise and a healthy heart – can we overdo it?”
- Asia-Pacific Congress of Doppler Echocardiography, Brisbane, 2009 “Echo measure of dyssynchrony should not be in Guidelines”, ‘Non-dyssynchrony measures of response to CRT”, “New echo modalities entertain doctors and do help patients”
- Football Australasia 2008, Melbourne 2008. “Cardiac screening in football – acceptable guidelines”.
- Cardiac Society Of Australia & New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting, Adelaide, August 2008. “The evidence for beta-blockers in heart failure”.
- ASEANZ Cardiovascular & Metabolic Forum, Melbourne, Australia, 2008. “Use of echo for decision making with device therapy”.
- Port Douglas Heart Meeting 2007. “Echo in the ER – time-wasting or life-saving”, “Read with the experts”