AURORA, Colorado — Mayo Clinic’s Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and Children’s Hospital Colorado are collaborating to provide solutions for patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare and complex form of congenital heart disease in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped.
“We are thrilled that Children’s Hospital Colorado has joined the hypoplastic left heart syndrome consortium because it brings the research to more patients who may have otherwise had to travel in order to participate,” says Timothy Nelson, M.D., Ph.D., director, Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. “It means that individuals with HLHS [hypoplastic left heart syndrome] now have more options at their fingertips while the consortium members are coming together to accelerate finding new and better solutions for these patients.”
“We’ve already taken advantage of this exciting new opportunity,” says James Jaggers, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon and co-medical director of the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “Just last week, we had a mother deliver her baby with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and we collected cord blood and sent it to Mayo Clinic. When we perform the surgery on this baby in three to four months, we’ll be ready to inject the baby’s own stem cells into the heart muscle, which, hopefully, will help make it even stronger.”
The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of finding solutions for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies. Email the program at HLHS@mayo.edu to learn more.