University of Maryland

The Division of Cardiac Surgery is internationally respected by other heart experts for participating in, and leading, clinical trials that advance surgical treatment of heart disease and provide options for patients for whom traditional surgical solutions are not an option.

Stem Cell Therapy for Babies with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)

Sunjay Kaushal, M.D., Ph.D., pediatric cardiac surgeon at the University of Maryland Children's Hospital, just began a clinical trial for babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

The Phase I trial, the first of its kind in the world, uses allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells as a way to strengthen the right side of the patient's heart, which is not strong enough to function correctly and properly circulate blood. Without surgical intervention, babies born with HLHS will die within the first week of life. Learn more about the HLHS clinical trial.

Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network

The Division was selected to join the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network, a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-supported consortium of cardiac surgery centers, to evaluate new surgical techniques, technologies, devices and innovative pharmaceutical and bioengineered products directed at improving adult cardiovascular outcomes.

Types of clinical trials at the University of Maryland include:

  • New minimally invasive techniques for patients deemed too high-risk for traditional surgery
  • Investigation of new ventricular assist devices
  • New approaches for valve procedures, including transapical and catheter-based surgeries

Read about the COAPT clinical trial for patients with mitral valve regurgitation.

Cardiac Allograft Vasculopathy Research Laboratory

Using models of cardiac transplantation, doctors investigate the role of tobacco exposure on rejection, cardiac allograft vasculopathy and renal failure by studying inflammatory and oxidative stress pathways. These studies will serve to pave the way for clinical studies of new biomarkers specific to tobacco smoke risk, provide insight toward novel targets of therapy and open the door for the clinical trials in the setting of chronic atherosclerosis and acute coronary syndromes.