Newswise — WHAT: Several cardiology researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have presented their findings at the Scientific Sessions 2004 of the American Heart Association, a national meeting, comprising four days of invited lectures and presentations of cardiology-related research, Nov. 7-10, New Orleans, Louisiana.

WHY: Nearly one in 100 children is born with a heart defect, making it one of the most common congenital defects affecting children. The Cardiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is a comprehensive center for the care of infants, children and young adults with congenital and acquired heart disease. It is ranked as the best pediatric cardiology program in the United States by Child magazine.

Featured Presentations:Sunday, Nov. 7, 2004 "Genetic Factors are Important Determinants of Neurodevelopmental Outcome after Repair of Tetralogy of Fallot" Poster from Neuro-Cardiac Research Program, Children's Hospital As survival rates have dramatically increased for newborns undergoing surgery for life-threatening heart conditions, doctors have focused on improving longer-term outcomes, such as cognitive and motor development. An ongoing program at Children's Hospital studies how genetic variations influence a child's neurological outcome following heart surgery. This study found that children with a heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot were more likely to have worse neurological outcomes following surgery if they also had a genetic syndrome or a particular variant of a gene. Children with tetralogy of Fallot are born with multiple abnormal heart structures. Even with the heart defect, children without genetic syndromes tended to have normal neurodevelopmental scores one year after surgery. William Gaynor, M.D., director of the Neuro-Cardiac Research Program at Children's Hospital, can discuss this research.

Monday, Nov. 8, 2004 "Comparison of Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Therapy in Primary vs. Secondary Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death in Young Patients"

Poster presentation by Maully Shah, M.D., Cardiac Center, Children's Hospital Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator devices (ICDs) are known to be effective in preventing sudden cardiac death in patients who have previously survived cardiac arrest. Researchers from Children's Hospital found that ICDs were equally effective in preventing sudden cardiac death in young heart patients with risk factors who had not previously had a cardiac arrest. The study involved 74 patients, most of whom were teenagers when they received the ICD implants. Maully Shah, M.D., director of Interventional Electrophysiology at the Cardiac Center, will discuss the study findings and the prevention of sudden cardiac death in children and adolescents.

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004

"Stent-Based Vascular Gene Transfer by Hydrolysis-mediated Release of Adenoviral Vectors"

Poster presentation by Ilia Fishbein, M.D., Cardiac Center

Metal stents, the tiny metal scaffolds that are inserted into diseased arteries to hold them open for improved blood flow, may be more effective if the stents are coated with beneficial genes that can protect the arteries from further injury. Researchers at Children's Hospital are investigating methods to bind gene delivery packages to the stents to allow controlled release of the protective gene, in a highly localized form of gene therapy. The transferred genes would help protect the artery from renarrowing or developing dangerous deposits of plaque. Dr. Ilia Fishbein is a member of the research team that tested a new gene delivery system in animal arteries.

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American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2204