Interventional Approaches


Comparative Hemodynamics of T-Junction and Y-Graft Anastomosis in the Penn State Fontan Pump

Nicolas Tobin

Pennsylvania State University, Department of Biomedical Engineering; Postdoc with Keefe Manning, PhD

Abstract: To improve outcomes in failing Fontan patients, Penn State is developing a small implanted centrifugal pump to support the heart demands and reduce pulmonary hypertension. The method of grafting the pump outlet onto the pulmonary arteries remains an important surgical consideration. Previous research has shown a Y-graft-type total cavopulmonary connection to have superior hemodynamics over a T-junction. This talk will discuss the comparative hemodynamics of a T-junction and Y-graft anastomosis of the Fontan pump outlet to patient-specific pulmonary arteries. Relevant hemodynamic parameters including dissipation of kinetic energy, wall shear stress, and pulmonary flow split will be presented.

Understanding Prenatal Brain Development in Single Ventricle to Improve Neurodevelopmental Outcome

Cynthia Ortinau, MD

Division of Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics,

Abstract: Dramatic advances in the medical and surgical management of children born with single ventricle heart defects have enabled them to live longer and healthier lives. Yet, many survivors face substantial developmental delays or learning challenges that can have a major impact on long-term quality of life for children and their families. By adolescence, more than 2 out of every 3 children with single ventricle require developmental or special education services. Postnatal medical and surgical factors cannot predict which infants will face significant neurodevelopmental challenges. It is increasingly recognized that neurodevelopmental deficits result from abnormal brain development beginning during pregnancy. Our research in fetuses with congenital heart disease has shown smaller brain volumes and abnormal brain folding patterns occur by mid-gestation. Certain regions of the brain critical for long-term brain structure and function are particularly affected in fetuses with single ventricle heart disease. Abnormal prenatal brain development likely reflects several intersecting pathways. Factors such as reduced oxygen/nutrient delivery to the fetal brain from the heart defect itself, the function of the placenta, and the socioeconomic resources of the family may all impact prenatal brain development and neurodevelopment after birth. Our aim is to identify those clinical factors that improve mechanistic understanding of prenatal brain development in single ventricle and enable prediction of those at highest risk for neurodevelopmental impairments after birth. Our overarching goal is to use this information to facilitate prenatal counseling, provide targeted, early developmental services shortly after birth, and facilitate design and implementation of prenatal neuroprotective interventions.


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