Rajni Rao, MD


Dr. Rajni K. Rao is a cardiologist with special interests in non-invasive cardiology, in particular, echocardiography, heart failure and valvular 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. Rao participates in the UCSF core echocardiography laboratory for interpretation of echocardiograms, evaluating new cardiac therapies for the treatment of heart failure and valvular heart disease.

Rao is an active participant in medical education, serving as course co-director for the cardiovascular curriculum for first-year medical students. She is also the faculty liaison for cardiovascular clerkships in the UCSF School of Medicine. Rao received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her medical degree from UCSF. She completed her internship at the Massachusetts General Hospital and returned to UCSF for her internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship. She served as chief cardiology fellow and completed advanced training in echocardiography at UCSF. She has received numerous awards including two recognizing her as a distinguished educator.


Cardiovascular Care and Prevention Center at Mission Bay
535 Mission Bay Blvd. South
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2873
Fax: (415) 353-2528

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Echocardiography Lab at Parnassus
505 Parnassus Ave., Suite M344
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-1262
Fax: (415) 353-1784

Hours: Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Conditions & Treatments

Academic Title

Associate Professor

More about Rajni Rao


UCSF School of Medicine 2000


UCSF Medical Center 2003

Selected Research and Publications

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Rao, R. Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Cardiology. Pulmonary embolic disease. 2008.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Rao RK, Chatterjee K. Heberden's Angina-Pathophysiology and Treatment. Indian Heart J. 2006 Nov-Dec; 58(6):384-92.
  12. Kumar UN, Rao RK, Scheinman MM. The 12-lead electrocardiogram in supraventricular tachycardia. Cardiol Clin. 2006 Aug; 24(3):427-37, ix.
  13. 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.
  14. Beinart G, Rao RK, Hollander H. Hospital Physician. Ectopic ACTH syndrome resulting in nocardiosis and acute respiratory failure. 2003; 39(10):49-51.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.