Doctor's Name: 
Meyer, Andrew BS, MS
University of Texas Health Science Center


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

(Total Grant Amount $154,000; CHF portion = $77,000)

In North America, over 18,000 children and 800,000 adults each year need life-saving cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. Cardiopulmonary bypass also known as the heart-lung machine, removes blood from the body, supplies it with oxygen, and returns it back to the body. Although the overall risk for this operation is low, the rate of post-operative clots that result in stroke or death is unacceptable. Therefore, we propose to study a new mechanism to explain this increase risk of clots and subsequent stroke. This mechanism is the creation of small blood cell pieces (microparticles) generated by the heart lung machine used during surgery. Our research defines the potential of these pieces to promote clots.

Our previous studies document the generation of clot forming small blood cell pieces (microparticles) in a laboratory model of a heart-lung machine using human blood. This proposal seeks to confirm and extend these results in a clinical study of children and adults on cardiopulmonary bypass (heart-lung machine). Specifically, we hypothesize that prolonged time on heart-lung machine will increase microparticle release that increases clot formation more in children compared to the adults. We will then answer the question why children after cardiac surgery have a higher incidence of clot formation than adult patients. This information will help to power a larger multi-institutional trial to define the role of microparticles and possible interventions to decreases clots after cardiac surgery.

Overall, the potential impact of these planned studies is to progress on-going research efforts to decrease the prevalence of life threatening coagulation complications after cardiopulmonary bypass surgery. We anticipate that our studies will establish microparticles as a sentinel marker for potential clot formation and be able to design larger trials with novel clinical interventions and therapies. Decrease in the prevalence of coagulation complications will allow increase use of cardiac surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass to improve livessuffering from heart disease or stroke.

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