Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engineer Develops Method To Combat Congenital Heart Disease In Children

Date:
February 18, 2009
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Mechanical and aerospace engineers have developed a unique set of computer modeling tools that are expected to enhance pediatric surgeons' ability to perform heart surgery on children.

Alison Marsden, a UC San Diego mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, has developed breakthrough simulation tools to assist pediatric heart surgeons.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - San Diego

Congenital heart defects account for five times more deaths annually than all childhood cancers combined. Alison Marsden, an assistant mechanical and aerospace engineering professor at the University of California, has developed a unique set of computer modeling tools that are expected to enhance pediatric surgeons’ ability to perform critical heart surgery on children.

Marsden’s work focuses on designing and using simulation tools to provide a way of testing new surgery designs on the computer before trying them on patients, much like, for example, engineers use computer codes to test new designs for airplanes or automobiles. Certain severe formsof congenital heart defects leave a patient with only one functional heart pumping chamber. These “singleventricle” defects are uniformly fatal if left untreated, and require a patient to undergo multiple heart surgeries,ending with a Fontan procedure.

In the Fontan surgery the veinsreturning blood to the heart from the body are directly connected to the arteries that send deoxygenatedblood to the lungs, forming a modified t-shaped junction. This bypasses the heart on the one side so thatthe resulting circulation puts the single pumping chamber to optimal use. Using models derived from MRI image data, Marsden has come with a way to optimize a Y-Graft model for the Fontan procedure which can help pediatric surgeons determine whether this procedure will benefit a patient, as well as and determine how a patient’s heart will perform during moderate exercise.

An advantage of Marsden’s proposed Y-Graft design is that it can be optimized or modified for an individual patient by custom manufacturing the graft portion prior to surgery.

“Our goal is to provide a set of personalized tools that can be used in collaboration with surgeons to identity the best procedure for patients,” Marsden said.

Pediatric surgeons at Stanford University plan to use Marsden’s Y-Graft computer models for a Fontan procedure for the first time later this year. One of the pediatric cardiologists working with Marsden is Dr. Jeff Feinstein,an associate professor of Pediatrics (Cardiology) at Stanford University with a specialization in interventional cardiology, and director of the Vera Moulton Wall Center for Pulmonary Vascular Disease at Stanford.

“Alison’s work enables us to look at things we can’t look at in any other way,” Feinstein said. “The whole concept of simulation based medicine offers opportunities to try things with zero risk to the patients. With this type of computer modeling, you can do 100 simulations before you ever try it in a patient.”

Marsden has also been working with Dr. John Lamberti,a professor in the Department of Surgery at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. “The research Alison is doing is very relevant to the treatment of the most complex forms of congenial heart disease,” said Lamberti, also a pediatric cardiac surgeon and Director of the Heart Institute at Rady Children’s Hospital. “This type of computer modeling could provide a patient with better long term cardiac performance and better exercise tolerance particularly during the teenage years and into adulthood when conventional-type Fontan procedures begin to fail.”

Part of Marsden’s work on the Y-Graft includes increasing flow rates to simulate exercise. “These simulations allow us to obtain information that is difficult to measure in the clinic,” Marsden said . “This way we can design something that would allow a patient to perform well at rest but also during exercise."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marsden et al. Evaluation of a novel Y-shaped extracardiac Fontan baffle using computational fluid dynamics. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 2009; 137 (2): 394 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2008.06.043

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Engineer Develops Method To Combat Congenital Heart Disease In Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090209152418.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2009, February 18). Engineer Develops Method To Combat Congenital Heart Disease In Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090209152418.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Engineer Develops Method To Combat Congenital Heart Disease In Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090209152418.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins