4th Annual Meeting of the Leducq Foundation Network of Excellence
in Modeling of Single Ventricle Hearts
Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
March 20-22, 2013
The Trans-Atlantic Network of Excellence
Multi-Scale Modeling of Single Ventricle Hearts for Clinical Decision Support
What are we studying? A single ventricle heart is where the left or right side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. This is a congenital condition i.e. a child is born with the abnormality. Between the first few days of life and the early childhood years they require at least three operations to treat it. The end goal is to produce a heart that pumps blood both to the lungs and to the body. This heart functions with two chambers instead of the normal four. Often further interventions are needed as the child grows.
Why? The major challenge is that every child and every heart is different. There are many choices about the timing and type of operation. The best strategy for one child may not work as well for another as they grow and adapt differently. A computer model of a child’s heart would allow doctors to visualize the anatomy and may allow us to perform virtual operations to see the outcome of different surgeries. This would give physicians clinical decision support when making choices for each individual child.
How? Our network has extensive experience in research into congenital heart disease using engineering and computer science. We will use multi-scale modeling to develop a virtual model. We will collect clinical data from children with single ventricles using MRI, CT, echocardiography, and cardiac catheterization. Computer models will be constructed on a local scale (circulation in the heart and lungs) and global scale (whole body). These models will be tested for their ability to predict outcomes by comparing them to the clinical data from patients. Once these models have been validated then we will develop software for general clinical use. Our network is utilizing the strengths of pediatric cardiologists, surgeons, radiologists, engineers, and computer scientists from across the Atlantic to translate our research into a tool for clinical use.