Biography

Dr Alex Willson is an Interventional Cardiologist who is experienced in Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), coronary angiography, angioplasty and coronary artery stenting procedures, including balloon aortic valvuloplasty. He works at Joondalup Private and Public Hospital and is a part of the Mount Hospital TAVI Program and the Structural Heart Team.

Dr Willson graduated with honours from the University of Western Australia in 2000, and completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australian College of Physicians and Cardiology training in Perth in 2009. 

In 2012 Dr Willson completed training in interventional cardiology and structural heart intervention at the University of British Columbia and St Pauls Hospital Vancouver. In Vancouver he trained with the pioneer of percutaneous valvular technology, Professor John Webb.

Dr Willson is committed to innovation and research, having published over 30 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals, including being lead author in JACC and has co-authored several book chapters. He has presented his research on structural and valvular heart disease at cardiology conferences in Australia and internationally.

Procedures & Conditions

Procedures Performed
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI)
  • Coronary Stenting and Angiography
  • Primary Angioplasty for STEMI
Conditions Treated
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Structural Heart Diseases

Experience

  • Staff Interventional Cardiologist
    Joondalup Health Campus 2015 - present
  • TAVI practitioner
    Joondalup Health Campus 2015 - present
  • Full Time Staff Interventional Cardiologist
    Nambour General Hospital August 2012 – April 2015
  • Senior Lecturer
    University of Queensland August 2012 – April 2015
  • Director of Interventional Cardiology Research
    August 2012 – April 2015
  • Member of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Research Committee
    August 2012 – April 2015
  • Member of the QLD statewide cardiac network committee
    August 2012 – April 2015
  • Interventional and Research Cardiology Fellow
    St Paul’s Hospital, University of British Columbia August 2010 to March 2012

Research & Publications

Publications

1. Dvir D, Webb J, Piazza N, Blanke N, Willson AB, Tan J, Wood DA, Leipsic J. Multicentre evaluation of transcatheter aortic valve replacement using either SAPIEN XT or CoreValve : Degree of device oversizing by CT and clinical outcomes. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv, Sept 2015;86(3) : 508-515

2. Blanke P, Willson AB, Webb JG, Achenbach S, Piazza N, Min JK, Pache G, Leipsic Oversizing in transcatheter aortic valve replacement, a commonly used term but a poorly understood one: dependency on definition and geometrical measurements. J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2014 Jan-Feb;8(1):67-76.

3. Freeman M, Webb JG, Willson AB, Wheeler M, Blanke P, Moss RR, Thompson CR, Munt B, Norgaard BL, Yang TH, Min JK, Poulsen S, Hansson NC, Binder RK, Toggweiler S, Hague C, Wood DA, Pibarot P, Leipsic J. Multidetector CT predictors of prosthesis-patient mismatch in transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2013 Jul-Aug;7(4):248-55.

4. Binder RK, Webb JG, Toggweiler S, Freeman M, Barbanti M, Willson AB, Alhassan D, Hague CJ, Wood DA, Leipsic J. Impact of post-implant SAPIEN XT geometry and position on conduction disturbances, hemodynamic performance and paravalvular regurgitation. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2013 May;6(5):462-8.

5. Binder RK, Webb JG, Willson AB, Urena M, Hansson NC, Norgaard BL, Pibarot P, Barbanti M, Larose E, Freeman M, Dumont E, Thompson C, Wheeler M, Moss RR, Yang TH, Pasian S, Hague CJ, Nguyen G, Raju R, Toggweiler S, Min JK, Wood DA, Rodés-Cabau J, Leipsic J. The impact of integration of a multidetector computed tomography annulus area sizing algorithm on outcomes of transcatheter aortic valve replacement: a prospective, multicenter, controlled trial. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Jul 30;62(5):431-8.

6. Binder RK, Schäfer U, Kuck KH, Wood DA, Moss R, Leipsic J, Toggweiler S, Freeman M, Ostry AJ, Frerker C, Willson AB, Webb JG. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement with a new self-expanding transcatheter heart valve and motorized delivery system. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2013 Mar;6(3):301-7.

7. Binder RK, Rodés-Cabau J, Wood DA, Mok M, Leipsic J, De Larochellière R, Toggweiler S, Dumont E, Freeman M, Willson AB, Webb JG. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement with the SAPIEN 3: a new balloon-expandable transcatheter heart valve. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2013 Mar;6(3):293-300.

8. Willson AB, Webb JG, Freeman M, Wood DA, Gurvitch R, Thompson CR, Moss RR, Toggweiler S, Binder RK, Munt B, Cheung A, Hague C, Ye J, Leipsic JA. Computed tomography based sizing recommendations for transcatheter aortic valve replacement with balloon-expandable valves: Comparison with transesophageal echocardiography and rationale for implementation in a prospective trial. J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2012 Nov-Dec;6(6):406-14.

9. Freeman M, Rodés-Cabau J, Urena M, DeLarochelliere R, Dumont E, Masson JB, Willson AB, Binder RK, Toggweiler S, Leipsic J, Wood DA, Webb JG. First in man transfemoral transcatheter aortic valve replacement with the 29mm Edwards SAPIEN XT valve. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2013 Oct 1;82(4):664-70.

10. Willson AB, Webb JG, LaBounty TM, Achenbach S, et al. Three-Dimensional Aortic Annular Assessment by Multidetector Computed Tomography Predicts Moderate or Severe Paravalvular Regurgitation After Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Implications for Sizing of Transcatheter Heart Valves. J Am Coll Cardiol 2012:59:1287-94.

11. Willson A, Rodès-Cabau J, Wood DA, Leipsic J, Cheung A, Toggweiler S, Binder R, Freeman M, DeLarochellière R, Moss R, Nombela-Franco L, Dumount E, Szummer K, Fontana G, Makkar R, Webb JG. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement with the St. Jude Medical Portico™ valve: first-in-human experience. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Aug 14;60(7):581-6.

12. Willson A, Webb JG, Gurvitch R, Wood A et al. Structural Integrity of Balloon Expandable Stents Post Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Assessment by Multi-detector Computed Tomography. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2012 May;5(5):525-32

13. Willson A, Toggweiler S, Webb JG. Transfemoral aortic valve replacement with the SAPIEN XT valve: step-by-step. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011;23(1):51-4

14. Willson A, Webb J. Transcatheter treatment approaches for aortic valve disease. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2011;27:1123–32.

15. Gurvitch R, Cheung A, Ye J, Willson AB, Toggweiler S, Binder R, Wood D, Webb J. Transcatheter valve-in-valve implantation for failed surgical bioprosthetic valves. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;58:2196–209.

16. Toggweiler S, Gurvitch R, Leipsic J, Wood D, Willson AB, Binder RK, Cheung A, Ye J, Webb JG. Percutaneous aortic valve replacement. Improved vascular outcomes with a fully percutaneous procedure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012; 59: 113-8.

17. Toggweiler S, Boone R, Humphries K, Rhodes-Cabau J, Lee M, Bagur R, Willson A, Binder R, Freeman M, Gurvitch R, Webb J. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement : outcomes of patients with moderate or severe mitral regurgitation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Jun 5;59(23):2068-74.

18. Humphries K, Rodès-Cabau J, Toggweiler S, Willson A, Binder R, Freeman M, Wood D, Webb J. Sex Differences in Mortality after Transcatheter. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Sep 4;60(10):882-6

19. Toggweiler S, Rodes-Cabau J, Wood A, Willson A, Freeman M, Binder R, Gurvitch R, Webb J. Transcatheter Valve-in-Valve Implantation for Failed Balloon Expandable Transcatheter Aortic Valves. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2012 May;5(5):571-7

20. Gurvitch R, Webb JG, Yuan R, Willson AB et al. Aortic annulus diameter determination by multidetector computed tomography reproducibility, applicability, and implications for transcatheter aortic valve implantation. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2011;4:1235–45.

21. Gurvitch R, Toggweiler S, Willson AB, Wood D, Webb J. Outcomes and complications of transcatheter aortic valve replacement using a balloon expandable valve according to the Valve Academic Research Consortium (VARC) guidelines. EuroIntervention. 2011;7:41–48.

22. Binder R, Leipsic J, Wood D, Willson A, Toggweiler S, Gurvitch R, Webb J. Prediction of Optimal Deployment Projections for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Angiographic 3-dimensional Reconstruction of the Aortic Root versus Multidetector Computed Tomography. Circ Cardiovasc Interv. 2012 Apr;5(2):247-52.

23. Willson A, Mountain D, Jeffers JM et al. Door-to-balloon times are reduced in ST-elevation myocardial infarction by emergency physician activation of the cardiac catheterisation laboratory and immediate patient transfer. Med J Aust. 2010;193:207–12. Comment: This manuscript was highly commended as part of the 2010 Sir Richard Stawell Memorial Prize.

24. Willson A, Cannell P, Joske D, Augustson B. Imatinib-induced cytogenetic remission in chronic eosinophilic leukaemia. Intern Med J. 2006;36:537–8.

25. Seow CH, Ee HC, Willson AB, Yusoff IF. Repeat colonoscopy has a low yield even in symptomatic patients. Gastrointest Endosc. 2006;64:941–47

26. Willson AB, Seow C, Zimmerman M. Severe alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency diagnosed in an 86-year-old man. Intern Med J. 2004;34:653–54.

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Presentations

Abstracts and Oral Presentation at Cardiac Conferences

  • Willson AB, Webb JG, LaBounty TM, Achenbach S, et al. Three-Dimensional Aortic Annular Assessment by Multidetector Computed Tomography Predicts Moderate or Severe Paravalvular Regurgitation After Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Implications for Sizing of Transcatheter Heart Valves. J Am Coll Cardiol, Volume 59, Issue 12, Supplement 27th March 2012. Page E325. (Conference : American College of Cardiology, March 2012)
  • Leipsic J, Willson AB, Achenbach S, Min J, LaBounty et al. Comparison of MDCT aortic annulus size in systole and diastole: a multicentre evaluation. J Am Coll Cardiol. Volume 59, Issue 12, Supplement 27th March 2012. Page E1200. (Conference : American College of Cardiology, March 2012)
  • Willson AB, Webb JG, Binder R, Toggweiler S et al. Geometry of the Edwards SAPIEN XT valve as assessed by Multidetector Computed Tomography, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 58, Issue 20, Supplement, 8 November 2011, Page B196, ISSN 0735-1097.
  • Willson AB, Webb JG, Toggweiler S, Gurvitch R et al. The Importance of Aortic Annular Area and Eccentricity on Balloon Expandable Aortic Valve Sizing, Geometry and Paravalvular Regurgitation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 58, Issue 20, Supplement, 8 November 2011, Pages B211-B212, ISSN 0735-1097.
  • Willson AB, Webb JG, Gurvitch R, Toggweiler S et al. Late Structural Integrity of Balloon Expandable Stents used for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement : Assessment by Multi-detector Computerized Tomography, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2011, 58:20,Suppl: B35, ISSN 0735-1097. Oral presentation at Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Conference, San Francisco 2011.
  • Toggweiler S, Wood D, Rodes-Cabau, Willson AB et al. Transcatheter Valve-in-Valve Implantation for Failed Balloon Expandable Transcatheter Aortic Valves, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 58, Issue 20, Supplement, 8 November 2011, Pages B36-B37, ISSN 0735-1097. Oral presentation at Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Conference, San Francisco 2011.
  • Gurvitch R, Webb J, Yuan R, Hague C, Willson AB et al. Aortic Annulus Diameter Determination by Multidetector Computed Tomography: Reproducibility, Applicability and Implications for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 58,Issue 20,Supplement,8Novermber 2011,Page B39. Oral presentation at Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics, San Francisco 2011 and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Conference 2011.
  • Binder RK, Leipsic J, Wood DA, Willson AB et al. Prediction of Optimal Deployment Projections in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Angiographic 3-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Aortic Root versus Multidetector Computed Tomography, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 58, Issue 20, Supplement, 8 November 2011, Page B206, ISSN 0735-1097.
  • Toggweiler S, Wood DA, Gurvitch R, Leipsic J, Willson AB et al. Percutaneous Aortic Valve Replacement: improved vascular outcomes with a fully percutaneous procedure. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Volume 27,Issue 5,Supplement,Sept-October 2011,Page S287. Oral presentation at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, Vancouver 2011.
  • Toggweiler S, Boone R, Humphries K, Lee M, Willson AB et al.
    Transcatheter aortic valve replacement : outcomes of patients with moderate or severe mitral regurgitation. Circulation, Volume 124, Issue 21 Supplement; November 22, 2011. 124:A11447. Oral presentation at the American Heart Association Conference 2011.
  • Willson A, D. Mountain, J. Jeffers, C. Blanton, B. McQuillan, J. Hung, M. Muhlman, M. Nguyen. Cardiology verses Emergency Physician Activation of the Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory in ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction: Effect on Door to Balloon Times. Heart, Lung and Circulation 2010 (Vol. 19Supplement 2, Page S123), Oral Presentation at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, Adelaide, 2010.
  • Willson A, C. Blanton. Prolonged Pain to Door Time is Associated with Longer Door to Balloon Times in ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction. Heart, Lung and Circulation 2010 (Vol. 19Supplement 2, Page S224)
  • Willson A, D. Bhullar, E. Yamen, M. Ammerer, D. Latchem, C. Blanton, M. Muhlmann. Seven Years Trends in Pain to Door Time and Ambulance Presentation for ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction. Heart, Lung and Circulation 2010 (Vol. 19Supplement 2, Page S151)
  • Willson A, D. Mountain, J. Jeffers, C. Blanton, B. McQuillan, J. Hung, M. Muhlman, M. Nguyen. False Positive Rates in Patients Undergoing Emergency Coronary Angiography for Suspected STEMI is Not Increased with Emergency Physician Activation of The Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory. Heart, Lung and Circulation 2010 (Vol. 19Supplement 2, Pages S130-S131)
  • Ng J, Yamen E, Willson A. Reliability of Surface and Radiological Landmarks to Guide Femoral Artery (CFA) Puncture Site: Anatomical Variations in the Optimal Sheath Position. Heart, Lung and Circulation 2010 (Vol. 19Supplement 2, Page S149)
  • Willson A, Nidorf M, McQuillan B, Blanton C. Staphylococcus Aureus Infective Endocarditis: A Comparison of Right and Left Heart Disease Heart, Lung and Circulation 2008 (Vol. 17Supplement 3, Page S88)
  • Seow C, Willson A, Ee H, Yusoff I. Repeat Colonoscopy is low yield in asymptomatic patients. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2004, Vol 19 Pages A195-A222.
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Videos

About aortic stenosis, diagnosis and symptoms
Diagnostic tests, structural heart team and treatment options for aortic stenosis
An overview of TAVI for aortic stenosis patients