The research A Giving Heart Foundation helps fund will provide the resources necessary to create technology that will reduce or eliminate the need for open-heart surgery in children living with congenital heart disease.
Children born with narrowed blood vessels close to the heart, or who develop major vessel narrowing after birth have two options. The first is heart surgery, which involves opening the chest to repair the narrowed vessel. The second entails implanting a stent from the groin to open the vessel narrowing. The latter is effective but temporary as with time the child will outgrow the stent leading to a re-emergence of the initial problem.
Doctors and researchers have started to extend the potential of this dissolvable stent technology – and are testing out replacing heart valves through the leg. Again, development of heart valves for adults has accelerated greatly recently, however similar efforts for children with diseased valves has been lacking. Due to AGHF’s support, development of dissolvable materials that can support a heart valve seeded with a patient’s own cells is underway. In the next 10 years, the hope is to produce a valve that can integrate itself into the child’s heart and grow with the child, deliverable through a leg vessel, preventing the need for open-heart surgery.
These developments previously perceived as conceptual are now possible. However, funding is essential to apply these advances to children and ensure that children are not left behind technology due to lack of funding.
Miniaturized Dissolvable Stent Research Trials – Phase One
The Medical Research Advisors
Ziyad M. Hijazi
MD, MPH, MSCAI, FACC – Professor of Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College, Acting Chief Medical Officer - Chair of the Department of Pediatrics & Director, Sidra Cardiovascular Center of Excellence
Prof. Hijazi is an interventional cardiologist who specializes in treating congenital and structural heart disease in both children and adults.
MB, MD, MRCPCH
Damien Kenny MB, MD, MRCPCH, was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1974. He graduated with an honors degree from University College, Dublin and following Internship spent 1 year working in Mongolia and Vietnam as medical director of a small Irish charity. He trained in Pediatric Cardiology in Bristol in the UK
Professor (MD, FRCS, MCh)
Massimo Caputo is a Professor of Congenital Cardiac Surgery at the University of Bristol, UK, and Visiting Professor of Congenital Cardiac Surgery, at the RUSH University Medical Center, Chicago, IL.