We support groundbreaking research and innovation geared toward driving improvements in care and outcomes, and developing new therapies for the next generation.
Why participate in research?
Research allows us to understand the best treatments for children with heart disease today, and to develop new therapies to help children impacted by heart disease in the future.
Some of the benefits of research include:
- Enrollment in a research study may allow access to new drugs, treatments, or monitoring being studied to see if they work better than current therapies
- Determining the best treatments specifically for children rather than extrapolating information from adults that may not apply
- Understanding the best dose of medications for children to prevent harmful side effects or under-treatment
- Developing devices sized for children
- Understanding the impact of treatments on a child’s long-term outcomes, growth, and development
For more information, visit www.childrenandclinicalstudies.org.
Michigan Congenital Heart Outcomes Research and Discovery (M-CHORD) Program
M-CHORD is our unique research core within the Congenital Heart Center fully dedicated to supporting pediatric and congenital cardiovascular research. The expertise of our faculty and staff spans the spectrum of clinical investigation including translational research, clinical trials of new drugs and devices, outcomes and health services research, and multicenter collaborative quality improvement. Our investigators are highly productive publishing more than 170 scientific manuscripts each year, supported by more than 50 active research grants.
Pediatric Heart Network Core Site
We are one of nine centers across the country selected to participate in the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Through this network, our patients have access to clinical trials of cutting-edge therapies and interventions.
The PHN Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial, led by U-M Congenital Heart Center investigators, was the first multi-center congenital heart surgery randomized trial ever accomplished. U-M Congenital Heart Center investigators also lead the PHN biorepository, PHN Integrated CARdiac Data and Outcomes (iCARD) Collaborative, and numerous other PHN efforts
Novel devices and therapies
We lead the development and testing of novel devices and treatments tailored toward the pediatric heart population.
- 3-D airway splints
As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, we have developed and implanted the first bioresorbable airway splints created using 3-D printing technology. These splints have been implanted in more than 25 patients to date to treat life-threatening airway narrowing many of whom are impacted by congenital heart disease.
- 3D Visualization Technologies
Our heart center is developing unique ways of utilizing virtual and printed 3D models to prepare for and even guide cardiac surgery and transcatheter interventions. We have also teamed up with other U-M experts to advance the use of computational fluid dynamics to help predict procedural outcomes in our patients.
- Donor heart preservation technology
Our investigators are developing technology to allow prolonged perfusion of donor hearts with the aim of improving organ availability and viability for heart pediatric transplant.
- Regenerative medicine
Our team is leading studies exploring new treatments for children with heart failure through the use of stem cells and tissue engineering.
Human Neonatal Thymus Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells and Chronic Right Ventricle Pressure Overload, Bioengineering, February 2019
Human Neonatal Thymus Mesenchymal Stem Cells Promote Neovascularization and Cardiac Regeneration, Stem Cells International, September 2018
Stem Cell Therapy for the Systemic Right Ventricle, Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy, November 2017
Connecting data across the country to enable more discoveries, faster improvement
We lead data coordinating center activities for Cardiac Networks United, which integrates several large networks spanning in total more than two-thirds of the nation’s congenital heart programs. These initiatives bring multiple data sources and expertise together to drive novel research otherwise not possible, and translate discovery to the bedside across hospitals to improve outcomes.
Understanding congenital heart disease quality and costs
Our investigators lead national efforts geared toward understanding quality of congenital heart care, investigating variation in quality and costs of care across centers, and designing initiatives to reduce this variation and improve care and outcomes.
Hospital Performance Assessment in Congenital Heart Surgery: Where Do We Go From Here?, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, January 2020
Improvement in Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Outcomes Through Interhospital Collaboration, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, December 2019
Center Variation in Chest Tube Duration and Length of Stay After Congenital Heart Surgery, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, November 2019
Development of a Congenital Heart Surgery Composite Quality Metric: Part 1-Conceptual Framework, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, September 2018
Through multiple lines of investigation, we aim to study and develop more individualized strategies for prevention, recognition, and treatment of adverse events tailored to the specific traits and needs of each heart patient.
Improving Outcomes Across the Lifespan
We are one of the first programs in the country to systematically track long-term survival, morbidities, and quality of life for children undergoing heart surgery at our center, regardless of where they live or receive follow-up care. We have developed a novel “patient-reported outcomes” portal that will drive a better understanding of these critical outcomes, conduct numerous studies geared toward optimizing neurodevelopment, and have recently initiated a new program focused on expanding psychosocial care and research.
Generalized and specific anxiety in adolescents following heart transplant, Pediatric Transplantation, December 2019
Behavior and Quality of Life at 6 Years for Children with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, Pediatrics, November 2019
Design and Initial Results of a Programme for Routine Standardised Longitudinal Follow-up After Congenital Heart Surgery, Cardiology in the Young, September 2016