• Dr. Hillegass is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Cardiovascular Division and holds a secondary appointment as an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics. In addition to general and invasive cardiovascular practice, Dr. Hillegass is a clinical investigator. Using research methods ranging from prospective randomized trials to secondary data-analyses, his applied research includes antithrombotic therapies, acute coronary syndromes, peripheral vascular diseases, cardiovascular diseases in diabetics, and interventional therapies. His basic statistical methods research concerns indirect treatment comparison methods. He has focused on quantitative methods to verify the assumptions and validity of indirect treatment comparison methods such as network meta-analysis. He has developed methods to improve the robustness of indirect treatment effect estimators. His additional methodological areas of interest and research include individual patient data meta-analysis, retrospective harmonization of covariates and endpoints across studies & databases, adaptive clinical trial designs, simulated clinical trials, bioinformatics for precision medicine, and cost-effectiveness analyses.

    Dr. Hillegass has mentored undergraduate, graduate, medical, and post-graduate trainees in multiple clinical research projects yielding peer-reviewed publications.

    Dr. Hillegass studied molecular genetics and econometrics as an undergraduate at Yale. Medicine and clinical research design & application at Harvard Medical School, Harvard School Public Health, and Brigham and Womens Hospital. He trained in cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular research at Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. His PhD training in biostatistics was at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2018 Embolic stroke of undetermined source and patent foramen ovale closure: Practice insights from meta-analysis?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  92:1161-1162. 2018
    2018 "Expanding the frame" for valve-in-valve therapy in small bioprostheses: Encouraging signs for the road ahead.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  92:555-556. 2018
    2018 Surgical aortic valve replacement and transcatheter aortic valve implantation for severe aortic stenosis: Equipoise remains a tenable assumption.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  92:431-432. 2018
    2018 Patent foramen ovale closure for cryptogenic stroke: Effective, but only in select patientsCatheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  92:174-175. 2018
    2018 Long-term survival prospects of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention: Envisioning the future.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  91:696. 2018
    2018 The promise of effective P2Y12 platelet receptor pretreatment: Not crushed yet.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  91:251-252. 2018
    2018 Multisite Investigation of Outcomes With Implementation of CYP2C19 Genotype-Guided Antiplatelet Therapy After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.  11:181-191. 2018
    2018 Patient preference: An important emerging factor in operator access site selection.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  91:25-26. 2018
    2017 Precision Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham: Laying the Foundational Processes Through Implementation of Genotype-Guided Antiplatelet Therapy.Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  102:493-501. 2017
    2017 Individualizing dual antiplatelet therapy duration: Prediction tools, genomics, and clinical judgment.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  90:38. 2017
    2017 Length and pressure matter: Expediting evidence-based progress in femoropoliteal intervention.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  89:1257-1258. 2017
    2017 Anticoagulation Control in Patients With Ventricular Assist Devices.ASAIO Journal.  63:759-765. 2017
    2017 The many radial access learning curves.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  89:865-866. 2017
    2017 SYNTAX Score and Long-Term Outcomes: The BARI-2D Trial.Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  69:395-403. 2017
    2017 Unprotected Left Main Disease and Percutaneous Intervention: A Prototype for Precision Medicine.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  89:11-12. 2017
    2016 Radial Access Optimization in the Nascent Post-Adoption Era.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  88:1044-1045. 2016
    2016 Routine invasive evaluation in non ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI-ACS): Optimizing best.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  88:775-776. 2016
    2016 Risk guided use of the direct thrombin inhibitor bivalirudin: insights from recent trials and analyses.Journal of thoracic disease.  8:E1034-E1040. 2016
    2016 End of the bare metal stent era?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  88:49-50. 2016
    2016 Valvular Heart Disease and Acquired Type 2A von Willebrand Syndrome: The "Hemostatic" Waring Blender Syndrome.JAMA Cardiology.  1:205-206. 2016
    2016 Risk-guided use of the direct thrombin inhibitor bivalirudin.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  87:401-402. 2016
    2016 Insulin-treated diabetes mellitus: An important, actionable risk marker after coronary stenting.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  87:63-64. 2016
    2015 Diabetes is not sufficient justification for IIb/IIIa use in percutaneous coronary intervention.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  86:376-377. 2015
    2015 Renal artery stenting: patient selection post-CORAL.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  86:310-311. 2015
    2015 Obesity and percutaneous coronary intervention outcomes: beware the extremes.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  85:959-960. 2015
    2015 Percutaneous coronary intervention: ever closer to real world silver bullets!?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  85:807-808. 2015
    2015 Response to letter regarding article, "The learning curve for transradial percutaneous coronary intervention among operators in the United States: a study from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry".Circulation.  131:e358. 2015
    2015 Can femoral access bleeding outcomes be improved?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  85:380-381. 2015
    2015 Optimal DAPT duration: each in their own time.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  85:41-42. 2015
    2015 Sex, Prescribing Practices and Guideline Recommended, Blood Pressure, and LDL Cholesterol Targets at Baseline in the BARI 2D Trial.International Journal of Endocrinology.  2015:610239. 2015
    2014 Republished: The association between inflammatory markers, serum lipids and the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.Postgraduate Medical Journal.  90:722-729. 2014
    2014 The association between inflammatory markers, serum lipids and the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.  73:1301-1308. 2014
    2014 The learning curve for transradial percutaneous coronary intervention among operators in the United States: a study from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry.Circulation.  129:2277-2286. 2014
    2013 Thromboaspiration and IIb/IIIa therapy in STEMI: abciximab redux?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  82:612-613. 2013
    2013 Adoption of radial access and comparison of outcomes to femoral access in percutaneous coronary intervention: an updated report from the national cardiovascular data registry (2007-2012).Circulation.  127:2295-2306. 2013
    2013 Stent paleology: diabetic lessons from extinct stents.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  81:1125-1126. 2013
    2013 Diabetes and everolimus-eluting stents: good offense scores but defense wins tough games.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  81:766-767. 2013
    2012 Long-term outcomes of older diabetic patients after percutaneous coronary stenting in the United States: a report from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry, 2004 to 2008.Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  60:2280-2289. 2012
    2012 Saphenous vein grafts: two substrates, two treatments?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  80:1137. 2012
    2012 Benefit of renal artery stenting: is on-target therapy the observational bias?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  80:351. 2012
    2012 ACP Journal Club: 24- and 6-month dual antiplatelet therapy after coronary stenting did not differ for clinical outcomes.Annals of Internal Medicine.  157:JC2-JC9. 2012
    2012 CommentaryAnnals of Internal Medicine.  157. 2012
    2012 Rotational atherectomy for heavily calcified unprotected left main disease: proceed with caution.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  80:221. 2012
    2012 Implicit rationing of percutaneous coronary intervention: the left main test case.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  79:1117. 2012
    2012 Characteristics and long-term outcomes of percutaneous revascularization of unprotected left main coronary artery stenosis in the United States: a report from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry, 2004 to 2008.Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  59:648-654. 2012
    2011 Diabetes and percutaneous coronary intervention drug-eluting: stents whenever feasible.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  78:718-719. 2011
    2011 Quality assessment and improvement in interventional cardiology: a Position Statement of the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Part II: public reporting and risk adjustment.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  78:493-502. 2011
    2011 Shock and age: the role of an early invasive strategy.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  78:512-513. 2011
    2011 Quality assessment and improvement in interventional cardiology: a position statement of the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, part 1: standards for quality assessment and improvement in interventional cardiology.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  77:927-935. 2011
    2011 A full toolbox fixes the roadblocks.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  77:759-760. 2011
    2011 ACP Journal Club. Review: Third-generation P2Y12 inhibitors reduce mortality after PCI more than clopidogrel.Annals of Internal Medicine.  154:JC3-JC6. 2011
    2011 DES in SVGs: safe and at least short-term effective.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  77:356-357. 2011
    2011 Oral antiplatelet therapy in diabetes mellitus and the role of prasugrel: an overview.Vascular Health and Risk Management.  7:445-459. 2011
    2010 High glycemic stenting menu.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  76:934-935. 2010
    2010 Health status after treatment for coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation 2 Diabetes trial.Circulation.  122:1690-1699. 2010
    2010 Drug-eluting or bare metal stents for diabetics: clinical judgment still wins.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  76:482-483. 2010
    2010 The Holy Grail for DES: does efficacy translate into real world effectiveness?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  76:381-382. 2010
    2010 Which DES for diabetics? Round 1: A draw. Round 2: Everolimus leading?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  76:58-59. 2010
    2010 Bifurcation stenting: a commitment to always kiss.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  75:614-615. 2010
    2010 The effect of obesity on quality of life in patients with diabetes and coronary artery disease.American Heart Journal.  159:292-300. 2010
    2009 Length matters: outcomes of superficial femoral artery (SFA) endovascular interventions.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  74:1096. 2009
    2009 Treatment of refractory iatrogenic femoral artery pseudoaneurysm with a vascular closure device.JVIR: Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.  20:1639-1640. 2009
    2009 As goes the access, so goes the intervention?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  74:932-933. 2009
    2009 The modern axis of peri-procedural evil.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  74:56-57. 2009
    2009 ACP Journal Club. Prasugrel prevented ischemic events compared with clopidogrel in patients having PCI for STEMI.Annals of Internal Medicine.  150:JC6-J10. 2009
    2009 Prasugrel prevented ischemic events compared with clopidogrel in patients having PCI for STEMI: CommentaryAnnals of Internal Medicine.  150. 2009
    2009 Multivessel disease in diabetics: does DES level the field?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  73:881-882. 2009
    2009 A third dimension to uncloud the funnel plot of operator quality.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  73:595-596. 2009
    2009 Pretreatment with nitroprusside for microcirculatory protection in saphenous vein graft interventions.Journal of Invasive Cardiology.  21:34-39. 2009
    2009 Clinical significance of post-procedural TIMI flow in patients with cardiogenic shock undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention.JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.  2:56-64. 2009
    2008 Native vessel PCI in the diabetic: DES whenever feasible.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  72:608-609. 2008
    2008 Vascular changes and black hole phenomenon after coronary brachytherapy: a pathologically distinct entity.Journal of Invasive Cardiology.  20:560-562. 2008
    2008 Prasugrel reduced ischemic outcomes more than did clopidogrel in patients receiving stents for ACS.Acp Journal Club.  149:12. 2008
    2008 The bone marrow and endovascular therapy.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  72:210-211. 2008
    2008 DES in saphenous bypass grafts: A treatment in vain?Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  72:21-22. 2008
    2008 Review: late percutaneous coronary intervention after AMI improves survival more than optimal medical therapy.Acp Journal Club.  149:6. 2008
    2007 Aspirin was cost-effective for primary prevention of cardiovascular events in older women at moderate risk.Acp Journal Club.  147:24. 2007
    2007 Ruptured giant right coronary artery aneurysm percutaneously plugged.Journal of Invasive Cardiology.  19:139-141. 2007
    2007 Urgent revascularization with PCI was more cost-effective than CABG in medically refractory, high-risk myocardial ischemia.Acp Journal Club.  146:49. 2007
    2007 First human case description of TandemHeart-assisted high-risk percutaneous balloon aortic valvuloplasty using bivalirudin anticoagulation.Journal of Invasive Cardiology.  19:E5-E8. 2007
    2006 Severe, diffuse coronary artery spasm after drug-eluting stent placement.Journal of Invasive Cardiology.  18:584-592. 2006
    2006 Rescue angioplasty reduced cardiovascular and cerebrovascular outcomes in acute MI after failed thrombolytic therapy.Acp Journal Club.  144:60-61. 2006
    2006 Review: evidence supporting reduced death and reinfarction by percutaneous coronary intervention after thrombolysis is inconclusive.Acp Journal Club.  144:60-61. 2006
    2006 Prophylactic implantable cardioverter-defibrillators increased life expectancy with an acceptable cost-effectiveness ratio.Acp Journal Club.  144:52. 2006
    2005 Invasive strategy within 24 hours of thrombolysis reduced death, nonfatal reinfarction, and ischemia-induced revascularization in STEMI.Acp Journal Club.  142:38. 2005
    2005 PCI with bivalirudin and provisional GP IIb/IIIa inhibition is more cost-effective than heparin plus routine GP IIb/IIIa inhibition. Commentary.Evidence-based Cardiovascular Medicine.  9:68-71. 2005
    2005 Cypher drug-eluting stent treatment of tibioperoneal obstructive disease: a case report.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  64:237-241. 2005
    2004 High-dose atorvastatin was superior to standard-dose pravastatin for reducing death or major cardiovascular events in acute coronary syndromes.Acp Journal Club.  141:33. 2004
    2004 Results of intracoronary beta-brachytherapy administered by 60 mm transfer device/radiation source train: a subgroup analysis from the RENO registry.Journal of Invasive Cardiology.  16:363-367. 2004
    2004 Long-term follow-up of brachytherapy for treatment of allograft in-stent restenosis.Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions.  61:217-221. 2004
    2003 Review: low-molecular-weight heparin is effective and safe in the acute coronary syndromes.Acp Journal Club.  139:58. 2003
    2003 Treatment of in-stent restenosis in a gastroepiploic artery coronary bypass graft with brachytherapy.Journal of Invasive Cardiology.  15:677-680. 2003
    2003 An early invasive strategy reduced death, myocardial infarction, and hospital readmissions at 2 years in unstable CAD.Acp Journal Club.  139:30. 2003
    2003 An interventional strategy was better than a conservative strategy in unstable angina or non-ST-elevation MI.Acp Journal Club.  138:32. 2003
    2003 Relationship between heparin anticoagulation and clinical outcomes in coronary stent intervention: observations from the ESPRIT trial.Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  41:386-393. 2003
    2002 How best to use GP IIb/IIIa receptor inhibitors in suspected acute coronary syndromes targeting high-risk patientsJournal of Critical Illness.  17:464-466. 2002
    2002 Cardiac resynchronization was effective for moderate-to-severe heart failure with intraventricular conduction delay.Acp Journal Club.  137:82. 2002
    2002 Relationship between activated clotting time during percutaneous intervention and subsequent bleeding complications.American Heart Journal.  144:501-507. 2002
    2002 Therapeutic angiogenesis with recombinant fibroblast growth factor-2 for intermittent claudication (the TRAFFIC study): a randomised trial.Lancet.  359:2053-2058. 2002
    2001 Does the presence of thrombus seen on a coronary angiogram affect the outcome after percutaneous coronary angioplasty? An Angiographic Trials Pool data experience.Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  38:624-630. 2001
    2001 Treatment of no-reflow and impaired flow with the nitric oxide donor nitroprusside following percutaneous coronary interventions: initial human clinical experience.Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  37:1335-1343. 2001
    2001 Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor therapy in percutaneous coronary intervention and non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndromes. Estimating the economic implications.PharmacoEconomics.  19:41-55. 2001
    1999 Economic issues in glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptor therapy.American Heart Journal.  138:S24-S32. 1999
    1998 Combining thrombolysis with the platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor lamifiban: results of the Platelet Aggregation Receptor Antagonist Dose Investigation and Reperfusion Gain in Myocardial Infarction (PARADIGM) trial.Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  32:2003-2010. 1998
    1998 Abciximab therapy in percutaneous intervention: economic issues in the United States.European Heart Journal.  19 Suppl D:D52-D58. 1998
    1998 Abciximab therapy in percutaneous intervention: economic issues in the United States.American Heart Journal.  135:S90-S97. 1998
    1998 Stent procedure complicated by thrombus formation distal to the lesion within a muscle bridge.Catheterization and cardiovascular diagnosis.  43:73-76. 1998
    1996 Use of calcium channel antagonists in myocardial revascularization procedures.American Journal of Cardiology.  77:26D-31D. 1996
    1996 Relation between activated clotting time during angioplasty and abrupt closure.Circulation.  93:667-671. 1996
    1996 The Economics of IIb/IIIa Therapy.Journal of Invasive Cardiology.  8 Suppl B:30B-33B. 1996
    1994 A meta-analysis of randomized trials of calcium antagonists to reduce restenosis after coronary angioplasty.American Journal of Cardiology.  73:835-839. 1994
    1994 Intracranial hemorrhage risk and new thrombolytic therapies in acute myocardial infarction.American Journal of Cardiology.  73:444-449. 1994
    1992 Effects on platelet aggregation and fibrinolytic activity during upright posture and exercise in healthy men.American Journal of Cardiology.  70:1051-1055. 1992


    Year Title Altmetric
    2005 Overview, strengths, and limitations of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.  17-33. 2005

    Research Overview

  • Antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapies.
    Coronary artery disease.
    Peripheral vascular disease.
    Diabetes and coronary artery disease.
    Statistical methods for indirect treatment comparisons.
  • Principal Investigator On

  • Private Grant  awarded by DATASCOPE, INC. 2009 - 2011
  • Private Grant  awarded by AMAREX, LLC 2010 - 2011
  • Education And Training

  • Brigham & Women's Hospital, Residency 1990
  • Duke University Medical Center, Postdoctoral Fellowship 1994
  • Full Name

  • William Hillegass
  • Blazerid

  • hillegas