Cardiovascular Intensive Care

Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) doctors are faculty members at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Part of their faculty role is to perform research to learn more about the heart and pediatric heart disease. They then work to translate that knowledge into innovative patient treatments or preventive techniques.

The CVICU is a hub for clinical and translational Children’s Heart Center research. Multiple internally and externally funded projects are ongoing as of January 2011. Our current research projects include:

  • Improving dosing of commonly used medications in children
    • Pharmacokinetics of etomidate in children undergoing cardiothoracic surgery  
    • Methadone versus morphine pharmacokinetics in children after cardiac surgery
  • Improving quality of care for children with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
    • National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative to decrease interstage mortality through real time multicenter quality improvement
    • Evaluation of Y-graft Fontan baffle
  • Improving postoperative care of children after cardiothoracic surgery
    • Cerebral near-infrared spectroscopy in children undergoing cardiothoracic surgery
    • Randomized clinical trial of aminophylline to prevent acute kidney injury following cardiopulmonary bypass surgery
    • Lung reperfusion injury following the unifocalization procedure for TOF/PA/MAPCAs
  • Participating in national quality improvement programs for children with congenital heart disease
    • Pediatric cardiac intensive care research consortium and data standard repository 
  • Improving outcomes for children with cardiac disease by studying myocardial injury at the cellular level
    • Molecular and cellular changes associated with hemodynamic insults and identification of pathways critical to the transition from a compensated state to heart failure

A dedicated clinical research nurse, Sara Sherman-Levine, RN, MSN, PNP, and a research assistant, Aihua Zhu, BA, MD, are based in the CVICU. They assist researchers with projects that involve CVICU patients.

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