Leducq Transatlantic Network for Excellence:
Multi-scale Modeling of Single Ventricle Hearts for Clinical Decision Support
2010 through 2016
Single ventricle heart defects (SV) are congenital heart conditions in which one side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. Common subtypes are Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and Tetrology of Fallot (ToF). Children born with SV typically undergo three stages of palliative surgery during the first few years of life to enable survival with only two chambers. Treating SV is challenging because the severity of the anatomic abnormalities, as well as continuing developmental changes, are unique to each patient. A computer model that allows physicians to simulate surgeries and observe their effects, using parameters specific to the patient in question, would thus be invaluable in guiding clinical decision-making.
This network will create such a virtual model. The network will acquire clinical data from SV patients using echocardiography, CT, MRI, and cardiac catheterization. Computer models will be constructed on the local (cardiopulmonary circulation) as well as the global (incorporating the entire body) scale. The network will then clinically validate the models and develop software for widespread use.
While it would be difficult for a single institution to assemble expertise in pediatric cardiology, surgery, imaging, engineering and computer science, the formation of a transatlantic network combines the strengths of different investigators and institutions necessary for such an ambitious multidisciplinary project.