The research interests of Frank Cetta Jr., M.D., focus on the clinical care of children and adults with congenital heart disease. Dr. Cetta actively participates in projects related to echocardiography in congenital heart disease and long-term follow-up of adults after surgery for congenital heart defects. He also studies outcomes after transcatheter interventions.
Long-term outcomes after Fontan operation. Mayo Clinic has a robust database that tracks long-term follow-up of all patients who had the Fontan operation at the institution. The database has recently been expanded to include patients who had a Fontan operation at other institutions but were seen at Mayo for continued care.
Dr. Cetta has managed this database for the last several years. Dr. Cetta and colleagues now participate in multicenter studies using this database, which was recently transposed into the more user-friendly REDCap data management program.
- Outcome of pregnancy after Fontan operation. Using the Mayo Fontan database, we have studied the results of pregnancy for people who had a Fontan operation.
- Global development of pediatric cardiology and pediatric heart surgery programs. Dr. Cetta has worked with Heart to Heart International, a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California, for nearly 20 years, developing pediatric cardiology and pediatric heart surgery programs in several foreign countries.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Cetta's research has benefitted patient care directly through his work with the nonprofit Heart to Heart International. Many patients around the world have benefitted from the development of pediatric heart surgery programs supported by this nonprofit. Access to care is a major obstacle in some countries, a challenge most patients do not face in the United States. The work of Heart to Heart International is data driven and has an emphasis on sustainability.
Dr. Cetta's work with the Mayo Clinic Fontan database has helped provide a benchmark for post-Fontan care throughout the country. We currently have nearly 1,400 patients in the database, which makes it one of the largest in the world. The information gleaned from this database has been instrumental in improving outcomes for these patients.