The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a research program with the goal of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals with HLHS.

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Sep 26, 2014

New Understanding of Therapeutic Options for Pediatric Heart Failure

By Suzanne R. Ferguson, @suzannerferguson

Despite the sobering statistics about the seriousness of pediatric heart failure compared to adult heart failure, a recent review article titled “New Mechanistic and Therapeutic Targets for Pediatric Heart Failure” written by leading experts offers hope as science continues to uncover understanding that could be translated into new therapeutic options. The group, organized through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), identifies the need for networks and collaborations to tackle the most challenging questions in pediatric heart failure. The specific areas of focus include mechanical circulatory support, anti-fibrosis, molecular genetics and biomarkers, myocardial regeneration, and stem cell biology.

Pediatric heart disease is different from adult heart disease in the underlying mechanism, and thus the treatments may require different approaches. The article highlights the need to study patient-specific samples and begin re-purposing existing drugs. The authors also highlight that regenerative strategies may be more effective in a pediatric heart that is designed to grow with cells that are multiplying naturally. Collectively, this article offers an encouraging outlook as the research community accelerates novel discoveries into clinical applications to offer new hope.   To read the full article, please visit American Heart Association.



The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure 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.

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