July 10, 2009

Working to end heart failure in children

An abnormality in the major pumping chamber of the heart in children often leads to heart failure, researchers reported at a symposium in Indianapolis.

Symposium organizer Loren Field, director of the Riley Heart Research Center, part of Riley Hospital and the University of Indianapolis, urged participants to focus on diagnosis and treatment of the abnormality.

A wide spectrum of congenital and acquired cardiac injuries can give rise to childhood heart failure, Field said in a statement.

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.

Sixteen of the studies presented at the inaugural Riley Heart Center Symposium on cardiac development were published in Pediatric Cardiology.