Cardiology Research, Breakthroughs and Innovations

Pediatric cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons on staff at Children’s Hospital of Michigan are at the forefront of conducting research and providing innovative treatments to improve the care and treatment of heart conditions in children.

Some of these include:

  • Children’s Hospital of Michigan was one of ten centers in the United States to participate in a non-surgical procedure to treat patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) particularly in premature and newborn infants. One participant included an infant weighing just 905 grams. Children’s Hospital of Michigan was the second institution in the country to perform the procedure, using a new device recently approved by the FDA in January of 2019, in such a small infant. He was the fourth patient in the United States to receive the device at the time in the device trial.
  • A Taylor teen, became the first patient in Michigan, to benefit from a revolutionary 3D printed heart model to aid heart specialists in treating a very large, complex aortic aneurysm.
  • Children's Hospital of Michigan’s Research Team led the cardiology component of a 20 year National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded clinical trial to protect the hearts of children who receive chemotherapy. Published in the March 10, 2016 issue of the authoritative Journal of Clinical Oncology, this study and other related published research is likely to change the standard of cardiac care during treatment of many childhood cancer patients.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved use of the Berlin Heart, the first ventricular assist device made specifically for pediatric patients. Surgeons on staff at Children’s Hospital of Michigan are leaders in the use of this advanced technology and testified to the FDA about its life-saving benefits.
  • Children’s Hospital of Michigan was the founder of the Congenital Cardiovascular Interventional Study Consortium, (CCISC), under the leadership of Tom Forbes, MD, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory. The CCISC is a databank where heart specialists around the world can review and learn from data on thousands of catheter-based procedures performed to find better ways to care for children with serious heart conditions. CCISC research has helped to identify methods to reduce complication rates and radiation exposure in the catheterization lab, helped members evaluate optimal approaches for treatment of coarctation of the aorta in children and adults, and lead to better treatment of ductal dependent lesions in cyanotic infants born with congenital heart disease.
  • Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Michigan helped develop the Genesis Stent, a life-saving device that opens blood vessels that can be expanded as the child grows, eliminating the need for open-heart surgery.
  • The pediatric cardiac transplant team at Children’s Hospital of Michigan evaluates children with heart failure, who cannot be treated long-term with medical or surgical therapies, for heart transplantation. When these children are not able to wait safely for a donor organ to become available, surgeons at Children’s Hospital of Michigan offer ECMO and ventricular assist devices to bridge the patients to a successful transplant.

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