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UCSF Cardiology
Transforming medicine through innovation and collaboration.
Department of Medicine

Faculty Profiles

Rajni Rao, MD
Associate Professor

505 Parnassus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94143


ADMINISTRATIVE ROLES: Rajni Rao is the Cardiology Clinic Practice Chief.

CLINICAL INTERESTS: Rajni Rao is a cardiologist with special interests in non-invasive cardiology, in particular, echocardiography, heart failure, valvular heart disease and carcinoid heart disease. Her clinical interests include the use of transthoracic, stress, transesophageal and three-dimensional echocardiography and the diagnosis and management of valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathies, and pericardial disease. She is leading efforts in the division to enhance physician efficiency and improve patient education and communication.

ACADEMIC INTERESTS: Dr. Rao is an active leader in medical education, and has served as the course co-director for the cardiovascular curriculum for first-year medical students and the site leader of the innovative UCSF SOM Action Research Program pilot. She is also the faculty liaison for cardiovascular clerkships in the UCSF School of Medicine Parnassus campus. Dr. Rao is currently championing several projects to help design and implement new ways to improve the experience of receiving cardiovascular care at UCSF.

Education and Training

Location Degree or Training Specialty Date
University of California, San Francisco Fellowship Division of Cardiology 2006
University of California, San Francisco Residency Department of Medicine 2003
Massachusetts General Hospital Internship Department of Medicine 2001
University of California, San Francisco M.D. School of Medicine 2000
Harvard University A.B. Biology 1995


Carcinoid heart disease, Echocardiography, General cardiology, Medical education, Valvular heart disease

Awards and Honors
2007   Cardiology Faculty Teaching Award, University of California, San Francisco, 2007
2006   American Association of Cardiologists of Indian Origin (AACIO) Dr. Krishna Ramaswamy Young Investiga, 2006
2006   Actelion Young Investigator Research Award, Actelion Pharmaceuticals, 2006
2005   Cardiology Fellow Teaching Award, University of California, San Francisco, 2005
2000   American Medical Women’s Association Achievement Citation, 2000
1999   Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society, 1999

Related Web Sites

Recent Articles (20)

Brooks GC, Lee BK, Rao R, Lin F, Morin DP, Zweibel SL, Buxton AE, Pletcher MJ, Vittinghoff E, Olgin JE. Predicting Persistent Left Ventricular Dysfunction Following Myocardial Infarction: The PREDICTS Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Mar 15; 67(10):1186-1196.

Kesarwani M, Ports TA, Rao RK, Mahadevan VS. First-in-Human Transcatheter Pulmonic Valve Implantation Through a Tricuspid Valve Bioprosthesis to Treat Native Pulmonary Valve Regurgitation Caused by Carcinoid Syndrome. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2015 Aug 24; 8(10):e161-3.

Johnson CJ, Roberts JD, James JH, Hoffmayer KS, Badhwar N, Ku IA, Zhao S, Naeger DM, Rao RK, O'Connell JW, De Marco T, Botvinick EH, Scheinman MM. Comparison of radionuclide angiographic synchrony analysis to echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging for the diagnosis of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. Heart Rhythm. 2015 Jun; 12(6):1268-75.

Thadani SR, Dyverfeldt P, Gin A, Chitsaz S, Rao RK, Hope MD. Comprehensive evaluation of culture-negative endocarditis with use of cardiac and 4-dimensional-flow magnetic resonance imaging. Tex Heart Inst J. 2014 Jun; 41(3):351-2.

Barazangi N, Wintermark M, Lease K, Rao R, Smith W, Josephson SA. Comparison of computed tomography angiography and transesophageal echocardiography for evaluating aortic arch disease. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2011 Sep-Oct; 20(5):436-42.

Rao RK, Tunuguntula A. Cardiology. Crawford MH, DiMarco JP, Paulus WJ, ed. Special problems in myocardial ischemia: the diagnosis of coronary artery disease in pre-noncardiac organ transplant patients. 2009.

Barzangi N, Wintermark M, Lease K, Rao RK, Smith W, Josephson S.A.. Comparision of computed tomography angiography to transesophageal echocardiography for evaluation of aortic arch atheroma calcification. American Stroke Association Scientific Sessions. 2009.

Rao, R. Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Cardiology. Pulmonary embolic disease. 2008.

Rao RK, Kumar UN, Schafer J, Viloria E, De Lurgio D, Foster E. Reduced ventricular volumes and improved systolic function with cardiac resynchronization therapy: a randomized trial comparing simultaneous biventricular pacing, sequential biventricular pacing, and left ventricular pacing. Circulation. 2007 Apr 24; 115(16):2136-44.

Rao RK, Ye J, Real WM, Springer M, Grossman W, De Marco T, Yeghiazarians Y. Reduced number and function of crculating endothelial progenitor cells in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. 2007.

Rao RK, Chatterjee K. Heberden's Angina-Pathophysiology and Treatment. Indian Heart J. 2006 Nov-Dec; 58(6):384-92.

Kumar UN, Rao RK, Scheinman MM. The 12-lead electrocardiogram in supraventricular tachycardia. Cardiol Clin. 2006 Aug; 24(3):427-37, ix.

Rao RK, Viloria E, Schafer J, De Lurgio D, Foster E. Reduced ventricular volumes and improved systolic performance with cardiac resynchronization therapy: simultaneous biventricular vs. sequential biventricular vs. left univentricular pacing. American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions, Atlanta 2006. Abstract #969-123. 2006.

Beinart G, Rao RK, Hollander H. Hospital Physician. Ectopic ACTH syndrome resulting in nocardiosis and acute respiratory failure. 2003; 39(10):49-51.

Go AS, Rao RK, Dauterman KW, Massie BM. A systematic review of the effects of physician specialty on the treatment of coronary disease and heart failure in the United States. Am J Med. 2000 Feb 15; 108(3):216-26.

Lieberman E, Lang JM, Cohen AP, Frigoletto FD, Acker D, Rao R. The association of fetal sex with the rate of cesarean section. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1997 Mar; 176(3):667-71.

Singh HS, Gaggar A, Rao R, Boyle AJ. A stressful situation & an aching heart. Society of General Internal Medicine Conference. Poster Presentation, Toronto, April 2007.

Badhwar N, Green D, O’connell JW, Lee BK, Tseng ZH, Marcus GM, Lee RJ, Rao R, et al.. Equilibrium radionuclide angiogram derived measures of dyssynchrony predict clinical outcomes in patients receiving cardiac resynchronization therapy. Heart Rhythm Society Scientific Sessions, San Francisco, 2008. Abstract #6683.

Rao RK, Kumar UN, Schafer J, De Lurgio D, Foster E. American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Chicago, 2006. Abstract #2931. Poster competition finalist. Echocardiographic changes after cardiac resynchronization therapy are not associated with changes in clinical measures.

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