Children's Hospital Boston Presents at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions
November 4-7, 2007
Fixing children's hearts without skipping a beat
Cardiac surgeons at Children's Hospital Boston, along with engineers and medical device manufacturers, are working towards more safely repairing congenital heart defects in children. They aim to avoid open-heart surgery, with all its risks, instead repairing hearts while they are still beating. Since the ideal tools for these surgeries don't exist, the team is inventing them; they include tiny instruments that can repair moving parts and new technologies for imaging the heart's interior. At the AHA sessions, Nikolay Vasilyev, MD describes successfully repairing a hole in a wall between the lower heart chambers in an animal model, using a homemade patching device and staple gun inserted through keyholes in the moving heart wall. The team, led by Children's chief of Cardiac Surgery, Pedro del Nido, MD, is also working on surgeons' glasses that show the beating heart as a hologram and a tiny chainsaw that shaves away extra tissue inside the heart. The first test of the team's instruments in children may begin as early as next year.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Abstract #2762/C164: Beating-Heart Patch Closure of Muscular Ventricular Septal Defects under Real-Time 3D Echo Guidance: Pre-Clinical Study--Nikolay Vasilyev, MD (3:00-4:30 p.m.)
The mark of a failing heart
A laboratory at Children's Hospital Boston is conducting the largest reported study to find that microRNAs -- tiny pieces of code that regulate genes -- play a role in heart failure. William Pu, MD, Sadakatsu Ikeda, MD, and Sek Won Kong, MD, believe microRNAs go out of balance in heart failure, touching off damaging genetic pathways or upsetting those needed to maintain a healthy heart. The group has linked patterns of imbalanced microRNAs to three major types of heart failure. Decreases in one microRNA (known as miR-1) upset calcium signaling in heart muscle cells, possibly leading to heart-wall thickening or faulty electrical conduction, common reasons for heart failure. Doctors may one day use microRNAs to predict the type of heart failure a patient will have, helping to individualize treatment, or as the treatment itself.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007, 9:00 a.m-12:00 p.m.
Abstract Oral Session #AOP.21.2: Gene Expression/Molecular Biology: RNA Silencing and Processing -- Novel Mechanisms of Gene Expression Regulation
Abstract #835: Downregulation of Cardiomyocyte-enriched MicroRNA Contributes to Altered Gene Expression in Heart Failure -- Sadakatsu Ikeda, MD (9:30-9:45 a.m.)
Contact: James Newton
Chidren's Hospital Boston
American Heart Association Scientific Sessions:
Children's Hospital Boston is home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and 10 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children's Hospital Boston today is a 377-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children's also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about the hospital and its research visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.