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Multicenter Study Led by Texas Children's Hospital & Baylor College of Medicine Finds Prenatal Diagnosis & Birth Location May Significantly Improve Neonatal HLHS Survival
Date:10/25/2013

Houston, TX (PRWEB) October 25, 2013

A first-of-its-kind study led by Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), published online in the journal, Circulation, found that infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) born far from a hospital providing neonatal cardiac surgery for HLHS have increased neonatal mortality, with most deaths occurring before surgery. Researchers also concluded that efforts to improve prenatal diagnosis of HLHS and subsequent delivery near a large volume cardiac surgical center may significantly improve neonatal HLHS survival. For more information on the study, visit circ.ahajournals.org.

“Our study is the first to examine the interactions between prenatal diagnosis, birth location and cardiac surgical center volume to determine survival among infants with HLHS,” said Dr. Shaine Morris, lead researcher, pediatric cardiologist at Texas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics – cardiology at BCM. “These findings are essential to providing the most successful outcomes for our patients.”

HLHS occurs when the fetus's left side of the heart does not develop normally, and is present in approximately 1 in 6,000 live births. HLHS is one of the most complex heart defects to treat because most of the structures on the left side of the heart are too small and underdeveloped – or hypoplastic – and it is difficult for the heart to provide enough red blood flow for the body's needs. The rate of mortality is quite high in HLHS, and optimal outcomes depend on aggressive cardiology and surgical management. All children with HLHS will have to undergo at least three surgeries within the first three years of life to survive, but many die in the first few months of life.

“Babies can be diagnosed with HLHS in-utero or after they are born,” explained Dr. Daniel J. Penny, chief of cardiology at Texas Children’s, professor and head of the section of car
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