Karen Ordovas, MD, MAS

Associate Professor
Co-Director, Cardiovascular RIG
Assoc. Professor in Residence


Karen Ordovas, MD, is an Associate Professor in Residence, Director of Cardiac Imaging, and Co-Chair of the Cardiovascular Imaging Research Imaging Interest Group (CIRIG) in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco. She specializes in Cardiac and Pulmonary Imaging, in particular cardiovascular CT and MRI at the UCSF Imaging Center. She received her medical degree from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and completed her residency in Radiology at the Instituto de Cardiologia do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, followed by a fellowship in Cardio-Thoracic Radiology from UCSF.

Dr. Ordovas research interests includes establishing evidence-based applications for coronary computed tomography angiogram (CTA) and cardiac MRI in several clinical settings. A major scientific interest of hers is clinical investigations on advanced cardiovascular CT and MRI. Mainly emphasizing evidence-based applications for coronary CTA and cardiac MRI in the clinical setting.

Dr. Ordovas has 31 published articles, she has written 49 peer-reviewed articles and 15 book chapters. Her articles have appeared in the Radiology journal, the American Journal of Cardiology, the JACC Cardiovascular Journal, and Stroke: A Journal of Cerebral Circulation.

Cardiac and Pulmonary Imaging

Cardiovascular computerized tomorgraphy (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Professional Interests:
Clinical investigations of advanced cardiovascular computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Education and Training:
• Medical School: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil - Medicine
• Internship: Hospital de Clinicas Clinicas de Porto Alegre - Medicine
• Residency: Instituto de Cardiologio do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil - Radiology
• Residency: Hospital Mae de Deus - Radiology
• Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco - Cardio-Thoracic Radiology
• Medical Licensure, Brazil
• Brazilian Medical Council Radiology Certification
• Brazilian College of Radiology Board Certification (equivalent of American Board certification)
• United States Medical Licensing Examination, steps I and II.
• Medical Board of California
• Medical Board of California
• California Medical License

Honors and Awards

Excellence in Teaching Award, University of California, San Francisco, 2013
Scholar Award, American Roentgen Ray Society, 2010
Research Fellowship, Radiology Society of North America, 2006-2007
Certificate of Merit, Radiological Society of North America, 2005


Liu J, Feng L, Shen HW, Zhu C, Wang Y, Mukai K, Brooks GC, Ordovas K, Saloner D. Highly-accelerated self-gated free-breathing 3D cardiac cine MRI: validation in assessment of left ventricular function. MAGMA. 2017 Jan 24.
Yang J, Khalighi M, Hope TA, Ordovas K, Seo Y. Technical Note: Fast respiratory motion estimation using sorted singles without unlist processing: A feasibility study. Med Phys. 2017 Jan 18.
Haas BM, Clayton JD, Elicker BM, Ordovas KG, Naeger DM. CT-Guided Percutaneous Lung Biopsies in Patients With Suspicion for Infection May Yield Clinically Useful Information. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2016 Nov 15; 1-5.
Clayton JD, Elicker BM, Ordovas KG, Kohi MP, Nguyen J, Naeger DM. Nonclotted Blood Patch Technique Reduces Pneumothorax and Chest Tube Placement Rates After Percutaneous Lung Biopsies. J Thorac Imaging. 2016 Jul; 31(4):243-6.
Kallianos KG, Elicker BM, Henry TS, Ordovas KG, Nguyen J, Naeger DM. Instituting a Low-dose CT-guided Lung Biopsy Protocol. Acad Radiol. 2016 Sep; 23(9):1130-6.
Ordovas KG, Keedy A, Naeger DM, Kallianos K, Foster E, Liu J, Saloner D, Hope MD. Dilatation of the ascending aorta is associated with presence of aortic regurgitation in patients after repair of tetralogy of Fallot. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2016 May 30.
Haas BM, Elicker BM, Nguyen J, Ordovas KG, Jones KD, Henry TS, Naeger DM. Nondiagnostic Computed Tomography-guided Percutaneous Lung Biopsies Are More Likely When Infection Is Suspected. J Thorac Imaging. 2016 May; 31(3):151-5.
Gullberg G, Aparici CM, Brooks G, Liu J, Guccione J, Saloner D, Seo AY, Ordovas KG. Measuring cardiac efficiency using PET/MRI. EJNMMI Phys. 2015 Dec; 2(Suppl 1):A59.
Valenzuela DM, Ordovas KG. Radiologic evaluation of coronary artery disease in adults with congenital heart disease. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2016 Jan; 32(1):13-8.
Kathiria NN, Devcic Z, Chen JS, Naeger DM, Hope MD, Higgins CB, Ordovas KG. Assessment of Left Ventricular Enlargement at Multidetector Computed Tomography. J Comput Assist Tomogr. 2015 Sep-Oct; 39(5):794-6.
Curl PK, Kahn JG, Ordovas KG, Elicker BM, Naeger DM. Understanding Cost-Effectiveness Analyses: An Explanation Using Three Different Analyses of Lung Cancer Screening. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Aug; 205(2):344-7.
Lange DC, Glidden D, Secemsky EA, Ordovas K, Deeks SG, Martin JN, Bolger AF, Hsue PY. Mitral Annular and Coronary Artery Calcification Are Associated with Mortality in HIV-Infected Individuals. PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0130592.
Hope MD, Hope TA, Zhu C, Faraji F, Haraldsson H, Ordovas KG, Saloner D. Vascular Imaging With Ferumoxytol as a Contrast Agent. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Sep; 205(3):W366-73.
Sohrabi S, Hope M, Saloner D, Keedy A, Naeger D, Lorca MC, Ordovas KG. Left atrial transverse diameter on computed tomography angiography can accurately diagnose left atrial enlargement in patients with atrial fibrillation. J Thorac Imaging. 2015 May; 30(3):214-7.
Kallianos K, Moraes GL, Ordovas KG. Prognostic role of MR imaging in nonischemic myocardial disease. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 2015 Feb; 23(1):89-94.
Kathiria NN, Higgins CB, Ordovas KG. Advances in MR imaging assessment of adults with congenital heart disease. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 2015 Feb; 23(1):35-40.
Lorca MC, Haraldsson H, Ordovas KG. Ventricular mechanics: techniques and applications. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 2015 Feb; 23(1):7-13.
Naeger DM, Higgins C, De Marco T, Muzzarelli S, Ordovas KG. Low-intensity late gadolinium enhancement predominates in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Clin Imaging. 2015 May-Jun; 39(3):432-6.
Ordovas KG. Updates in cardiac MRI. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 2015 Feb; 23(1):xvii.
Lee LC, Genet M, Acevedo-Bolton G, Ordovas K, Guccione JM, Kuhl E. A computational model that predicts reverse growth in response to mechanical unloading. Biomech Model Mechanobiol. 2015 Apr; 14(2):217-29.
Genet M, Lee LC, Nguyen R, Haraldsson H, Acevedo-Bolton G, Zhang Z, Ge L, Ordovas K, Kozerke S, Guccione JM. Distribution of normal human left ventricular myofiber stress at end diastole and end systole: a target for in silico design of heart failure treatments. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2014 Jul 15; 117(2):142-52.
Chien AJ, Munster PN, Melisko ME, Rugo HS, Park JW, Goga A, Auerback G, Khanafshar E, Ordovas K, Koch KM, Moasser MM. Phase I dose-escalation study of 5-day intermittent oral lapatinib therapy in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-overexpressing breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2014 May 10; 32(14):1472-9.
Boiselle PM, Bremerich J, de Roos A, Greenberg SB, Ordovas K. Expert opinion: computed tomography versus magnetic resonance imaging for young adults with congenital heart disease. J Thorac Imaging. 2013 Nov; 28(6):331.
Naeger DM, Wilcox C, Phelps A, Ordovas KG, Webb EM. Residents teaching medical students: how do they compare with attending educators? J Am Coll Radiol. 2014 Jan; 11(1):63-7.
Kohi MP, Ordovas KG, Naeger DM, Meadows AK, Foster E, Higgins CB. CMR assessment of right ventricular function in patients with combined pulmonary stenosis and insufficiency after correction of tetralogy of Fallot. Acta Radiol. 2013 Dec; 54(10):1132-7.
Ordovas KG, Muzzarelli S, Hope MD, Naeger DM, Karl T, Reddy GP, Marchiori E, Higgins CB. Cardiovascular MR imaging after surgical correction of tetralogy of Fallot: approach based on understanding of surgical procedures. Radiographics. 2013 Jul-Aug; 33(4):1037-52.
Naeger DM, Kohi MP, Webb EM, Phelps A, Ordovas KG, Newman TB. Correctly using sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values in clinical practice: how to avoid three common pitfalls. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2013 Jun; 200(6):W566-70.
Naeger DM, Phelps A, Kohi M, Elicker B, Ordovas K, Webb EM. Reading room electives: say goodbye to the "radi-holiday". J Am Coll Radiol. 2013 Jun; 10(6):442-8.
Moraes GL, Higgins CB, Ordovas KG. Delayed enhancement magnetic resonance imaging in nonischemic myocardial disease. J Thorac Imaging. 2013 Mar; 28(2):84-92; quiz 93-5.
Cabarrus M, Yang B, Schiller N, Miller DC, Ordovas K. Iatrogenic giant coronary artery pseudoaneurysm with "daughter aneurysm" formation: serial imaging findings and natural history. J Thorac Imaging. 2012 Nov; 27(6):W185-7.
Naeger DM, Phelps A, Kohi M, Patel A, Elicker B, Ordovas K, Urbania T, Avrin D, Qayyum A. Cross-specialty integrated resident conferences: an educational approach to bridging the gap. Acad Radiol. 2012 Aug; 19(8):1029-34.
Chung JH, Mitsumori LM, Ordovas KG, Elicker BM, Higgins CB, Reddy GP. Heart as a source of stroke: imaging evaluation with computed tomography. J Thorac Imaging. 2012 May; 27(3):W52-60.
Muzzarelli S, Ordovas KG, Higgins CB, Meadows AK. Collateral flow measurement by phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging for the assessment of systemic venous baffle patency after atrial switch repair for transposition of the great arteries. J Thorac Imaging. 2012 May; 27(3):175-8.
Muzzarelli S, Ordovas KG, Cannavale G, Naeger D, Michaels AD, Higgins CB. Potential of delayed gadolinium enhancement magnetic resonance imaging for quantification of reverse remodeling of the peri-infarct zone in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy treated with chronic vasodilator therapy: initial experience. J Thorac Imaging. 2012 Mar; 27(2):121-4.
Muzzarelli S, Meadows AK, Ordovas KG, Higgins CB, Meadows JJ. Usefulness of cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging to predict the need for intervention in patients with coarctation of the aorta. Am J Cardiol. 2012 Mar 15; 109(6):861-5.
Hsue PY, Ordovas K, Lee T, Reddy G, Gotway M, Schnell A, Ho JE, Selby V, Madden E, Martin JN, Deeks SG, Ganz P, Waters DD. Carotid intima-media thickness among human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients without coronary calcium. Am J Cardiol. 2012 Mar 1; 109(5):742-7.
Ordovas KG, Higgins CB. Delayed contrast enhancement on MR images of myocardium: past, present, future. Radiology. 2011 Nov; 261(2):358-74.
Ordovas KG, Carlsson M, Lease KE, Foster E, Meadows AK, Martin AJ, Hope M, Do L, Higgins CB, Saeed M. Impaired regional left ventricular strain after repair of tetralogy of Fallot. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2012 Jan; 35(1):79-85.
Muzzarelli S, Meadows AK, Ordovas KG, Hope MD, Higgins CB, Nielsen JC, Geva T, Meadows JJ. Prediction of hemodynamic severity of coarctation by magnetic resonance imaging. Am J Cardiol. 2011 Nov 1; 108(9):1335-40.
Hope MD, Hope TA, Crook SE, Ordovas KG, Urbania TH, Alley MT, Higgins CB. 4D flow CMR in assessment of valve-related ascending aortic disease. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2011 Jul; 4(7):781-7.
Muzzarelli S, Ordovas KG, Hope MD, Meadows JJ, Higgins CB, Meadows AK. Diagnostic value of the flow profile in the distal descending aorta by phase-contrast magnetic resonance for predicting severe coarctation of the aorta. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2011 Jun; 33(6):1440-6.
Muzzarelli S, Ordovas K, Higgins CB. Cardiovascular MRI for the assessment of heart failure: focus on clinical management and prognosis. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2011 Feb; 33(2):275-86.
Muzzarelli S, Ordovas KG, Cannavale G, Meadows AK, Higgins CB. Tetralogy of Fallot: impact of the excursion of the interventricular septum on left ventricular systolic function and fibrosis after surgical repair. Radiology. 2011 May; 259(2):375-83.
Cannavale G, Higgins CB, Ordovas KG. Unroofing the diagnosis. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2010 Dec; 26(8):841-2.
Adraktas DD, Brasic N, Furtado AD, Cheng SC, Ordovas K, Chun K, Chien JD, Schaeffer S, Wintermark M. Carotid atherosclerosis does not predict coronary, vertebral, or aortic atherosclerosis in patients with acute stroke symptoms. Stroke. 2010 Aug; 41(8):1604-9.
Furtado AD, Adraktas DD, Brasic N, Cheng SC, Ordovas K, Smith WS, Lewin MR, Chun K, Chien JD, Schaeffer S, Wintermark M. The triple rule-out for acute ischemic stroke: imaging the brain, carotid arteries, aorta, and heart. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2010 Aug; 31(7):1290-6.
Hope MD, Hope TA, Meadows AK, Ordovas KG, Urbania TH, Alley MT, Higgins CB. Bicuspid aortic valve: four-dimensional MR evaluation of ascending aortic systolic flow patterns. Radiology. 2010 Apr; 255(1):53-61.
Hope MD, Meadows AK, Hope TA, Ordovas KG, Saloner D, Reddy GP, Alley MT, Higgins CB. Clinical evaluation of aortic coarctation with 4D flow MR imaging. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2010 Mar; 31(3):711-8.
Elicker BM, Golden JA, Ordovas KG, Leard L, Golden TR, Hays SR. Progression of native lung fibrosis in lung transplant recipients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Respir Med. 2010 Mar; 104(3):426-33.
Marcus GM, Smith LM, Ordovas K, Scheinman MM, Kim AM, Badhwar N, Lee RJ, Tseng ZH, Lee BK, Olgin JE. Intracardiac and extracardiac markers of inflammation during atrial fibrillation. Heart Rhythm. 2010; 7(2):149-54.
Chang AY, FitzGerald SJ, Cannaday J, Zhang S, Patel A, Palmer MD, Reddy GP, Ordovas KG, Stillman AE, Janowitz W, Radford NB, Roberts AJ, Levine BD. Cardiovascular risk factors and coronary atherosclerosis in retired National Football League players. Am J Cardiol. 2009 Sep 15; 104(6):805-11.
Furtado AD, Carlsson M, Wintermark M, Ordovas K, Saeed M. Identification of residual ischemia, infarction, and microvascular impairment in revascularized myocardial infarction using 64-slice MDCT. Contrast Media Mol Imaging. 2008 Sep-Oct; 3(5):198-206.
Knauth Meadows A, Ordovas K, Higgins CB, Reddy GP. Magnetic resonance imaging in the adult with congenital heart disease. Semin Roentgenol. 2008 Jul; 43(3):246-58.
Hope MD, Meadows AK, Hope TA, Ordovas KG, Reddy GP, Alley MT, Higgins CB. Images in cardiovascular medicine. Evaluation of bicuspid aortic valve and aortic coarctation with 4D flow magnetic resonance imaging. Circulation. 2008 May 27; 117(21):2818-9.
Reddy GP, Pujadas S, Ordovas KG, Higgins CB. MR imaging of ischemic heart disease. Magn Reson Imaging Clin N Am. 2008 May; 16(2):201-12, viii.
Hom JJ, Ordovas K, Reddy GP. Velocity-encoded cine MR imaging in aortic coarctation: functional assessment of hemodynamic events. Radiographics. 2008 Mar-Apr; 28(2):407-16.
Paydar A, Ordovas KG, Reddy GP. Magnetic resonance imaging for endomyocardial fibrosis. Pediatr Cardiol. 2008 Sep; 29(5):1004-5.
Akhtar M, Ordovas K, Martin A, Higgins CB, Michaels AD. Effect of chronic sustained-release dipyridamole on myocardial blood flow and left ventricular function in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy. Congest Heart Fail. 2007 May-Jun; 13(3):130-5.
Marcus GM, Yang Y, Varosy PD, Ordovas K, Tseng ZH, Badhwar N, Lee BK, Lee RJ, Scheinman MM, Olgin JE. Regional left atrial voltage in patients with atrial fibrillation. Heart Rhythm. 2007 Feb; 4(2):138-44.