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New strategies to improve treatment and ultimately prevent heart failure in children
Date:7/7/2009

INDIANAPOLIS Structural cardiovascular abnormalities present at birth are the leading cause of heart failure in children. Nearly half a million children in the United States have structural heart problems ranging in severity from relatively simple issues, such as small holes between chambers of the heart, to very severe malformations, including complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.

The July issue of the journal Pediatric Cardiology focuses on a recent meeting of pediatric cardiology experts from around the world who gathered at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children for the inaugural Riley Heart Center Symposium on Cardiac Development. The experts presented new basic science and clinical research to improve treatment of, and ultimately to prevent, the congenital defects and damage acquired after birth that cause heart failure in children.

The symposium focused on the growth of the ventricular wall in development and disease, and on the diagnosis and treatment of non-compaction of the left ventricle - an abnormality of the major pumping chamber of the heart which often leads to heart failure. Both are areas of ongoing study by the Riley Heart Research Center.

"A wide spectrum of congenital and acquired cardiac injuries can give rise to childhood heart failure. To advance our ability to treat heart failure in children, it is of critical importance to develop an understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the genesis of congenital heart defects, and to develop an understanding of the molecular processes that negatively impact upon heart muscle cell function and survival during the progression of childhood heart failure," wrote symposium organizer Loren Field, Ph.D., professor of medicine, and pediatrics, who directs the Riley Heart Research Center and convened the symposium. The Riley Heart Research Center is located in the Herman B Wells Center for Pediat
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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