University of Wisconsin
School of Medicine and Public Health

Peter Rahko, MD



MADISON, WI 53792-0001

(608) 262-9088

Director, Adult Echocardiography

Peter Rahko earned a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry from St. Olaf College in 1975 and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1979. He completed an internship in medicine and a residency in medicine at Indiana University Medical Center and in 1982-85 a cardiology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Health Center Hospitals. Rahko is a Professor of Medicine.

His clinical interests include all aspects of adult echocardiography, characterization of ventricular function changes in heart failure, ventricular dyssynchrony analysis and strain, 3-D echo and echocardiographic manifestations of valvular heart disease. He is also involved in the medical management of end-stage heart failure, including evaluating innovative pharmaceutical therapies for heart failure, and left ventricular remodeling. Recently he has developed an echocardiographic screening program for varsity athletes.

Rahko gives a wide range of educational lectures each year at multiple levels, including annual lectures about coronary heart disease to the physician assistant class; an overview of cardiovascular disease for undergraduates in Pathology 404 and medical physics; lectures to the second year medical students on valvular heart disease; lectures to the Medicine Department housestaff on valvular heart disease ECGs and echocardiography; multiple forms of instruction to cardiac fellows during lecture series, cases conferences, on the inpatient service, in the clinic and in the echocardiography laboratory; and continuing medical education lectures on multiple topics particularly relating to echocardiography, hypertension and heart failure.

Rahko is active in clinical research trials in heart failure and echocardiography, participating in several national trials. He is a past president of the Northland Affiliate of the American Heart Association and past Governor of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. More recently he served on the ACC/AHA writing committee revising heart failure guidelines. He is the liason of the for the American Society of Echocardiography to the AMA and is on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. At the University, he is a member of the Continuing Medical Education (CME) Committee, Chair of the Minimal Risk Institutional Review Board, and member of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Planning Committee. He is the Medical Director of the Echocardiography section of the School of Diagnostic Ultrasonography at UW Hospital and Clinics.

Search for Peter Rahko's literature abstracts on PubMed


Rahko PS. Prevalence of regurgitant murmurs in patients with valvular regurgitation detected by Doppler echocardiography. Ann Intern Med 1989; 111:466-472.

Rahko PS. Doppler and echocardiographic characteristics of patients having an Austin Flint murmur. Circulation 1991; 83:1940-1950.

Sullivan J, Hanson P, Rahko PS, Folts JD. Continuous measurement of left ventricular performance during and after maximal isometric deadlift exercise. Circulation 1992; 85:1406-1413.

Rahko PS, Shaver JA, Salerni R. Reversed closure sequence of the mitral and tricuspid valves in congestive heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol 1993; 21:1114-1123.

Rahko PS. Comparative efficacy of three indexes of left ventricular performance derived from pressure-volume loops in heart failure induced by tachypacing. J Am Coll Cardiol 1994; 23:209-218.

Wilson GM, Rahko PS. The clinical utility of automatic boundary detection for the determination of left ventricular volume: A comparison to conventional off-line echocardiographic quantification. J Am Soc Echocardiogr 1995; 8:822-829.

Gudjonsson T, Rahko PS: Relation of "inotropic reserve" to functional capacity in heart failure secondary to ischemic or nonischemic cardiomyopathy. Am J Cardiol 2002; 89: 1057-61.

Rahko PS. An echocardiographic analysis of the long term effects of carvedilol on left ventricular remodeling, systolic performance and ventricular filling patterns in dilated cardiomyopathy. Echocardiography 2005:22(7):547-554.

Hunt SA, Abraham WT, Chin MH, Feldman AM, Francis GS, Ganiats TG, Jessup M, Konstam MA, Mancini DM, Michl K, Oates JA, Rahko PS, Silver MA, Stevenson LW, Yancy DW. ACC/AHA 2005 guideline update for the diagnosis and management of chronic heart failure in the adult: summary article: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Update the 2001 Guidelines for the Evaluation and Management of Heart Failure). Circulation 2005:112:1825-1852 and J Am Coll Cardiol 2005:46(6):1116-1143.

Wyman RA, Chiu R, Rahko PS. The five minute screening echocardiogram for athlete. J AM SOC ECHO 2008 Jul;21(7):786-8.

Rahko PS. Evaluation of the skin-to-heart distance in the standing adult by 2-dimensional echocardiography. J AM SOC ECHO 2008, 21(6):761-764.

Velez M, Westerfeldt B, Rahko PS. Why it pays for hospitals to initiate a heart failure disease management program. DIS MANAGE HEALTH OUTCOMES 2008:16(3):155-173.