Clinical Professors

Clinical Professors, Christopher Carsten, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina

Christopher Carsten III, M.D., FACS

Clinical Professor
Clemson University School of Health Research 

Program Director, Vascular Surgery Fellowship
Prisma Health–Upstate 

Contact: 864-455-5599

Who is Dr. Carsten?

As a native South Carolinian, Dr. Christopher Carsten is proud to provide care to the people of his home state. Growing up on a farm in the Pee Dee region of the state, it was only natural for him to go to Clemson University for his undergraduate degree. He earned his medical degree at the Medical University of South Carolina, and then he went back to the upstate for his general surgery residency training at Prisma Health–Upstate. He spent two years in Danville, Pennsylvania at Geisinger Medical Center for his vascular surgery fellowship. He came home to South Carolina and was in private general and vascular surgery practice in Sumter for nearly two years before he was recruited to return to Greenville and joined the Division of Vascular Surgery at Prisma Health–Upstate. The Division was starting a vascular surgery fellowship and needed additional manpower with an interest in resident education. This has been his passion since. Prisma Health–Upstate’s general surgery residency and vascular surgery fellowship have expanded, and he has had the opportunity to participate in Greenville’s new medical school on a number of levels and he has watched as Prisma Health–Upstate has strengthened their ties to his alma mater, Clemson University. He is collaborating on a number of projects at Clemson and is looking forward to continuing this partnership. He's also a clinical professor of surgery at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.

For more information, see his Curriculum Vitae.

How Dr. Carsten’s research is transforming health care

Abdominal aortic aneurysms are the 13th leading cause of death in the U.S. Currently, the only method of
predicting when an aneurysm may rupture is to measure its size. While this is effective at preventing
rupture, it is still relatively crude proxy for predicting biologic behavior. Dr. Carsten, working with Dr.
Naren Vyavahare of Clemson University, is attempting to develop novel methods of imaging aneurysms
in an attempt to more accurately predict the risk of aneurysm rupture based on the elastin and collagen
content of the aneurysm wall. This could potentially allow them to identify the small percentage of
patients who experience aneurysm rupture while their aneurysms are still small and identify those patients
who can safely delay surgery even if their aneurysm has grown. As health care moves toward value-based
practice as opposed to fee-for-service, this has significant implications.

Dr. Carsten is also working with Dr. Vyavahare to develop therapies to reverse vascular calcification by
targeted therapies. This is particularly important for diabetic patients with peripheral vascular disease
causing them to lose their limbs. This non-invasive systemic therapy might be helpful to remove calcium
deposits and open up leg arteries and save limbs.

Likewise, he and Dr. Jiro Nagatomi are working on a project that involves development of the bioadhesive
that could be used to anastomose blood vessels.

Key Health Research Interest Areas

abdominal aortic aneurysm, aneurysm, atherosclerosis, medial calcinosis, vascular disease,
vascular surgery