Overview

  • The program's goal is to transform patient care guidelines by identifying genetic causes of HLHS (led by Dr. Olson), predicting outcomes (led by Dr. O'Leary), developing a cell-based therapy (led by Dr. Nelson) and creating a system for continuous learning (led by Dr. Terzic).

    The program's goal is to transform patient care guidelines by identifying genetic causes of HLHS (led by Dr. Olson), predicting outcomes (led by Dr. O'Leary), developing a cell-based therapy (led by Dr. Nelson) and creating a system for continuous learning (led by Dr. Terzic).

  • Image of magnetic resonance and echocardiographic images of the heart

    By comparing magnetic resonance and echocardiographic images of the heart with the medical history of people with HLHS, physicians and scientists will be able to develop better methods of assessing heart function and predicting outcomes.

  • Diagram showing relationship among the genome, chromosomes, DNA, genes and mutations

    By performing whole-genome sequencing, scientists hope to identify the abnormal gene or genes that cause underdevelopment of the left ventricle.

  • A confocal microscopy image of human cardiac tissue bioengineered from pluripotent stem cells in the laboratory

    This confocal microscopy image shows human cardiac tissue bioengineered from pluripotent stem cells in the laboratory. Scientists hope to determine if bioengineered cells from the patient's own body can be used to treat and strengthen the heart.

  • Diagram of scientific components

    By creating a repository of clinical and genetic data, as well as tissue and other physical specimens, that can be drawn from in the future, researchers can continue to study HLHS and explore new treatment options.

In the Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), Mayo Clinic physicians, scientists and many other experts are working collaboratively to find and apply innovative solutions for HLHS.

In HLHS, a rare and complex congenital heart defect, the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. Treatment for HLHS today is palliative — there is no cure — and typically involves a series of three surgical procedures.

To better understand and treat HLHS, the program is taking a multifaceted approach that includes research into imaging and outcomes, human genetics, and regenerative strategies, as well as the creation of an annotated biorepository.

The program's goal is to launch clinical trials that offer the latest advances in cell therapy to people with HLHS. Ultimately, program leaders hope their research will result in the ability to delay, or even prevent, the need for heart transplants in people with the disease.

Learn more about the program's team approach and how you can participate in HLHS research.

Read about current news and events on the HLHS Cause to Cure Blog.