Marc Rodger, MD


Dr. Marc Rodger, M.D., FRCP(C), MSc. is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Departments of Medicine, Epidemiology and Community Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is the Chief and Chair of the Division of Hematology and the Head of the Thrombosis Program. He is a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He holds a Faculty of Medicine Clinical Research Chair in Venous Thrombosis and Thrombophilia and a Career Scientist Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Dr. Rodger received his B.Sc from McGill University and his M.D., M.Sc. (Clinical Epidemiology) from the University of Ottawa. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowships in Hematology and Thrombosis at the University of Ottawa.

Research Interests
Dr. Rodger’s research program is focused on Venous Thrombosis and Thrombophilia with specific focus on 1) Thrombosis/ Thrombophilia in Pregnancy and 2) Venous Thrombosis: Optimal Management.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the leading cause of maternal mortality in Canada. Placental thrombosis leads to the development of placenta mediated pregnancy complications (pregnancy loss, pre-eclampsia, placental abruption and intra-uterine growth restriction), which collectively are leading causes of maternal and fetal/neonatal morbidity and mortality. Dr. Rodger is currently leading/recently completed a series of studies to further define the association between thrombophilia and the placenta mediated pregnancy complications and examine whether thromboprohylaxis in high risk pregnancies reduces VTE and placenta mediated pregnancy complications. His large cohort studies and meta-analyses suggest that thrombophilias are associated with pregnancy loss but not with pre-eclampsia or IUGR but maybe associated with the severe forms of these complications. He also completed an RCT that showed that low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) does not reduce placenta mediated pregnancy complications in thrombophilic women at high risk for placenta mediated pregnancy complications. This RCT is being complimented by an individual patient meta-analysis of the prophylactic LMWH to prevent pregnancy complications studies that should define which patients most benefit and which outcomes are prevented.

VTE is a common, potentially fatal yet treatable condition and the third leading cause of cardiovascular mortality. The acute and short term therapy of VTE involves anticoagulants; this therapy reduces recurrent VTE and death from recurrent VTE while on therapy but is complicated by side effects of major bleeding and death from major bleeding. The optimal duration of anticoagulation in patients with unprovoked VTE is on one of the most important unanswered clinical questions. In a multi-national prospective cohort study exploring risk factors for recurrent venous thrombosis, Dr. Rodger developed a promising clinical decision rule, “Men continue and HERDOO2” that segregates these patients into a low risk group (<6% VTE recurrence at 5 years) that likely should discontinue anticoagulants and a high risk group (>30% VTE recurrence at 5 years) that likely should continue anticoagulants. This rule is being validated this decision rule in a multi-national 45 centre cohort study of over 3000 unprovoked VTE patients (REVERSE II study). This and other work may lead to better pathophysiologic understanding of this disease and lead to new treatments and/or treatment approaches. Dr. Rodger is in the planning stages of an RCT examining statins, an exciting potential therapies that is simple, inexpensive, and safe, for secondary prevention of VTE in unprovoked VTE patients.

Clinical/Administrative Interests
Dr. Rodger founded the General Campus Thrombosis Program in 1998, led the successful merger with the Civic Campus Thrombosis Program founded by Dr. Wells in 2002 and led the development of the Champlain LHIN Regional Thrombosis Program which was launched in 2010. This clinical program is focused on delivering the novel diagnostics and therapeutics developed by Thrombosis Scientists to our local population to deliver quality cost effective care.

As Chief of Hematology he also led the development of The Ottawa Blood Disease Center: A state of the art world class facility housing the clinical, research, teaching and administrative components of the Division of Hematology. The center opened in 2012.

Education Interests
Dr. Rodger’s focus is on developing tomorrow’s leaders. He was Hematology Program Director from 2002 to 2006 and was Director of the Thrombosis Fellowship Program from 2001 to 2010 which is a world leading clinical, research and education training program for thrombosis experts. In the last 10 years the program has attracted 10 Canadian and 8 international trainees.

Other interests
Dr. Rodger has led academic priority setting exercises for the Ottawa Hospital and the OHRI focused on evaluating and promoting excellence. Dr. Rodger was also a participant in the University of Ottawa’s Conflict of Interest policy renewal process.