Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study identifies underlying dysfunction of seemingly non-critical heart condition

Provides new insight into the most common form of congenital heart disease

Repairing small, seemingly benign holes in a child's heart may be more clinically important than previously thought, as dysfunction could be lurking out of sight.

These are the findings from a study conducted by doctors and researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Ohio State University Medical Center examining a subset of the most common form of congenital heart disease, ventricular septal defect. The recently published study appears in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, the official journal of the International Society for Heart Research.

Ventricular septal defect is a congenital heart defect defined by one or more holes in the wall that separates the right and left ventricles of the heart. These defects can be large (nonrestrictive) or small (restrictive) and vary in severity depending on size. Medical management of large ventricular septal defects is straightforward in that the hole must be closed or the patient will develop severe, life-threatening complications including pulmonary hypertension and right ventricle failure.

Management of a restrictive ventricular septal defect (rVSD) is less clear.

"rVSD patients typically have normal blood circulation despite an obvious defect and hole in the ventricular wall," said Loren Wold, PhD, FAHA, principal investigator in the Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital and one of the study authors. "Clinically, these patients are usually observed with the hope that the defect will close over time without the need for surgical repair and without the development of heart failure or sudden death."

Because rVSD is often considered to be hemodynamically benign, meaning that blood flow appears normal, it is assumed that whole heart function is a reflection of conditions at the cellular and molecular levels. Therefore, few studies have investigated whether changes in the heart at the molecular and cellular levels precede future dysfunction in these patients.

"Without clearly defined evidence supporting optimal care, clinicians are unable to predict which rVSD patients have an increased risk of a poor outcome," said Mark Gerhardt, MD, PhD, associate professor of Anesthesiology at the Ohio State University Medical Center and one of the study authors.

Using an animal model of rVSD, the team at Nationwide Children's Hospital and Ohio State University Medical Center discovered that although blood flow was normal in the models' heart, there were molecular changes, evidence of right ventricular diastolic dysfunction, and impairment of muscle contraction and relaxation at the cellular level.

"These data indicate that despite no overt dysfunction at the level of the whole heart, molecular remodeling and progressive diastolic dysfunction is nevertheless taking place," said Dr. Wold, also a faculty member at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

"Right ventricular diastolic dysfunction in rVSD is a major finding of this study," said Dr. Gerhardt. "Because the right ventricle is a low-pressure system, small changes in right ventricular compliance may have significant clinical consequences. Our findings indicate that patients with rVSD should be carefully evaluated for right ventricular diastolic dysfunction."

The study also revealed upregulation of the cytoskeletal protein, desmin, in the wall of the right ventricle that precedes functional alterations.

"Desmin may represent a key early marker for future right ventricular dysfunction," said Dr. Wold. "Future research is warranted to determine if increased desmin is the cause or a reaction to diastolic dysfunction."

Findings from the study may lead to a fundamental change in the clinical management of rVSD by providing evidence for early repair of the defect.

This research was funded by a translational research grant through The Heart Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Mary Ellen Peacock | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>