The Systemic Right Ventricle: Risks and Outcomes of Congestive Heart Failure

Doctor's Name: 
Craig Broberg
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland

Collaboratively awarded through the CHF and AHA Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards

(Total Grant Amount $153,987; CHF portion = $47,563.50)

Patients born with transposition of the great arteries who have a systemic right ventricle face worsening heart function over the course of their lifetime. Their heart may impact their clinical function by leading to exertional intolerance, rhythm problems, severe heart failure, and eventually heart transplant. But in some patients these problems do not occur. There are many uncertainties regarding which patients develop these complications and why. There are also many questions regarding whether therapies used in other forms of heart failure can be use in the systemic RV, and some evidence suggesting they do not. Our study will explore reasons why and when the weakened ventricle creates problems and limitations for the patient. 

By pooling information on a large number of patients with a systemic right ventricle, a unique heart defect, we will be able to show exactly how these patients are doing over time. Our first question will be how often they either need heart transplant or similar treatments, or die. The second will be how frequently they require hospitalization from their heart problem. We will be able to make comparisons between those who do and do not experience these problems, and therefore identify features that indicate which patients are likely to have trouble over time. We will collect magnetic resonance images of these patients and make our own special measurements of heart function to use in our comparisons. Finally, we will describe how patients who are transplanted fare after the surgery.

In conjunction with The AHA's global mission to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease, we will explore the function of the right ventricle in ways never done before. We will challenge the common notion that all patients with a systemic right ventricle will eventually need a transplant and identify features of patients who are doing well. For those who are not, we will have a greater understanding of what triggers their deterioration, and therefore what treatment options may have the most potential benefit. We will identify the most reliable means with which to measure the function of the right ventricle. Our study will also lay the groundwork for specific studies that carry these investigations further.

Award Date 1: 
Award Amount 1: