Children's Hospital Colorado

Research at the Heart Institute

At Children's Hospital Colorado, we believe that every child deserves to have a happy, healthy future. Child health research and innovation is at the core of our commitment to deliver the best clinical care for kids. With each patient we see in the Heart Institute, our physicians and caregivers seek to improve outcomes and deliver world-class care.

Researcher in scrubs in a lab.
Research article

Learn how young researchers at Children’s Colorado are training and exploring failures in the pediatric heart, all the way to its evolutionary roots.

Clinical trial

Researchers at Children’s Hospital Colorado are investigating the safety and feasibility of providing regenerative therapy for a rare congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

Infants diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome in utero
Stem cell collection at birth; Glenn procedure at 3-6 months old

Cardiology and heart surgery advancements

The Heart Institute includes a team of clinical and basic science researchers focused on improving the understanding and treatment of heart disease. Here are some highlights of our team's innovative work and research projects:

  • Our interventional cardiologists were among the first to use minimally invasive heart catheters to reach and repair heart defects in children.
  • Our pulmonary hypertension (PH) researchers are conducting a five-year study to improve the diagnosis and treatment of PH in children. This study uses 200 patient-specific computer models created to mimic blood flow and biomechanics of the pulmonary system of infants and children.
  • Our surgeons are involved in studies to determine the best surgical techniques to minimize the adverse effects of cardiac surgery and maximize the long-term benefit to children and adults.
  • Our organ and heart transplant research has led to new ways of using the immune system to reduce the likelihood of the body rejecting a transplanted heart.

"Kids deserve focused study. We shouldn’t just rely on what is known to occur in adults; you have to study children just as carefully, just as intensely, as you study adult disease."
Shelley Miyamoto, MD

Cardiology professional education videos

In these short videos, our cardiology experts offer insights into the advanced treatments and specialized clinical care they provide at our hospital.

What our heart research means for kids

The Heart Institute is actively engaged in research to determine the best ways to take care of children with congenital or acquired heart disease. There are approximately 75 research studies occurring within the Heart Institute with more than half that are actively enrolling. These studies range from examining cells in the heart to clinical trials of new medications or devices used to treat heart problems in kids.

Funding for the Heart Institute research portfolio comes from many different sources, including grants, industry departments, internal awards, and from the department itself. The Heart Institute is eternally thankful for all the children and families who choose to participate in research. Without them, we would not be able to learn the best ways to take care of kids with congenital or acquired heart disease.

A national leader in congenital heart disease research

The Heart Institute at Children’s Colorado is also part of the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative, an initiative to improve outcomes for kids with congenital heart disease. This allows us to work with many other national pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery centers to share information and improve the quality of life for kids with single ventricle cardiac anatomy.

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