HeartKids Australia is delighted to announce the research projects to be funded under their Grants-in-Aid program in 2015. The Grants-in-Aid program supports research and research capacity building in congenital and acquired childhood heart disease.

HeartKids Australia would like to thank Wilson HTM Foundation, Founding Partner of the Grants-in-Aid program, the HCF Research Foundation, Kiwanis Australia, HeartKids New South Wales, HeartKids Victoria, HeartKids South Australia and HeartKids Western Australia for their generous support of these grants.

The five research projects to be funded in 2015 are as follows:

Outcomes following a cardiac procedure in the first six years of life Principle Investigator: Dr Samantha Lain Project: Institution: Kolling Institute, University of Sydney

Project Description: Up to 50% of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) will require operative management. This has a significant impact on these children, their families and those involved in providing care. In Australia, there is very little research about the health, educational and developmental outcomes of these children. Linked population health data provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the CHD population. This project aims to examine the frequency and annual trends of cardiac procedures in children in New South Wales, their subsequent health service utilization and health outcomes, and educational and developmental outcomes. ________________________________________ Exercise-induced hypertension in childhood following neonatal aortic coarctation repair Principle Investigator: Associate Professor Yves d’Udekem Institution: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Project Description: Aortic coarctation (narrowing of the aorta) occurs in 5-10% of all children with congenital heart disease. Surgery improves patient outcomes, but results in high blood pressure in 75% of adults, which is associated to a 20% risk of death by cardiovascular disease within 30 years. Early detection of hypertension in children may enable us to initiate therapy aiming at preventing the development of hypertension. We want to investigate the capacity of exercise testing and of a recently developed ultrasound analysis of the blood flow of the carotid artery as a way to detect early signs of hypertension. ________________________________________ Functional Health in adolescents who have undergone open heart surgery in infancy Principle Investigator: Dr Christian Stocker Institution: Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital

Project Description: Based on research overseas, brain abnormalities and delayed neurologic development due to congenital heart disease and its treatment occur in up to 30% of patients. Neurologic development of 43 infants who underwent open heart surgery in Queensland between 1999 and 2001 were assessed at 1 and 5 years of age. Functional health (physical health, mental well-being, academic performance, social integration, and quality of life) of these children should now be assessed before finishing high school. This third assessment study will benefit the patients, and provide important new data on the burden of congenital heart disease on society in Australia. ________________________________________

Clinical and Genetic Studies in Children and Families with Cardiomyopathy Principle Investigator: Professor Chris Semsarian Institution: Centenary Institute, Sydney & Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne

Project Description: Heart disease in children results in significant symptoms and can ultimately led to heart failure and premature death. One form of heart disease in children relates to abnormalities in the structure and function of the heart muscle, so called “cardiomyopathies”. Understanding the causes of cardiomyopathies is important to facilitate more accurate and earlier diagnosis, and in helping to predict clinical outcomes in children with cardiomyopathies. The proposed study will use the latest genetic technologies to identify the causes of cardiomyopathies in children. The study will improve our knowledge of these conditions in children, and directly impact on how we diagnose and care for children and their families with inherited cardiomyopathies ________________________________________ Measuring energetic efficiency in adult congenital heart disease using 4D flow MRI Principle Investigator: Prof Stuart Grieve Institution: Heart Research Institute, University of Sydney Project Description: Adults with repaired congenital heart disease (CHD) require optimal medical and surgical care to avoid progressive dysfunction, ultimately leading to heart failure and possibly early death. In this study we will apply a revolutionary new technique, 4-dimensional flow MRI (4D-Flow) in order to better characterize the abnormalities of flow that likely contribute to long-term outcomes in adult CHD patients. We will focus on two well characterized groups– survivors with a Fontan type repair and those with repaired tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), aiming to collect data that that improves our understanding of the physiology of and limitations associated with these conditions.

Grants-in-Aid 2015 Awards Presentation Booklet


South Australia