Basic research in our laboratory continues to improve understanding of how the immature heart uses oxygen and other fuels. This knowledge will help us to develop strategies to protect the heart during and after surgery for congenital heart disease.
Myocardial energy metabolism and myocardial protection continue as the primary research endeavors within the Cardiology Division. Basic laboratory research focuses on the signals, which communicate to the cellís energy factory, the mitochondrion, during increases in heart work. Thyroid hormone levels decrease after artificially induced stresses such as cardiac surgery. Protocols involving supplementation of thyroid hormones after cardiac surgery in infants have begun to show the importance thyroid hormone balance after cardiopulmonary bypass. Thus, research in our experimental laboratory now complements clinical research at Seattle Childrenís.
We also have a number of outcomes research projects. These include a multicenter study of adult congenital heart disease, an NIH-sponsored drug trial in patients with Marfan syndrome, and studies associated with the post-natal outcomes after the prenatal diagnosis of specific cardiac anomalies. We participate in multicenter trials surrounding patients with pulmonary hypertension, and are an international leader in device trials in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.
For more information on this specialty, please visit the Cardiology webpage.