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Our research at the Colorado Fetal Care Center is driven by our belief that all children, even those not yet born, deserve the best chance at a brighter future. Through collaboration in ongoing multicenter trials, we're able to:
Our research, in partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, allows us to continually advance the standard of care for and treatments of infants, expecting mothers and high-risk pregnancies.
Children's Colorado has partnered with Mayo Clinic to study the use of stem cell therapy for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Learn more about our first patient.
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).
We're known around the world for groundbreaking innovations in fetal care research that are revolutionizing the care and treatment of both mother and child in high-risk pregnancies. Some of our team's most significant advancements include:
Our fetal surgeons are advancing and innovating prenatal treatment and repair for fetuses with myelomeningocele. In our efforts to improve MMC patients' quality of life, reduce complications and obtain better outcomes, our researchers have made several significant contributions, innovating the way fetal surgeons approach MMC. These efforts include:
We are one of the country's highest volume fetal centers treating twin-twin transfusion syndrome. Our multidisciplinary team of maternal fetal medicine specialists, specialized physicians, fetal cardiologists and pediatric fetal surgeons collaborate to improve outcomes for laser photocoagulation, increase survival and decrease prematurity for babies with TTTS.
In an effort to guide future improvements in patient care, Michael Zaretsky, MD, collaborates with the North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTN) in managing a national registry of the complications and outcomes of monochorionic twin pregnancies.
Our work places us at the forefront of fetal cardiology and makes us leaders in caring for new lives. The Colorado Fetal Care Center team completed the first-ever Ex Utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT) to ventricular pacing procedure and continues to lead in innovative ways:
Our Colorado Fetal Care Center is a national referral site for CDH, as the neonates with CDH who are discharged from our NICU have some of the best outcomes in the nation.
"Every day is a good day on the job where parents are trusting me to take care of their most prized possession."
Kenneth Liechty, MD
Director, Pediatric Surgery Basic and Translational ResearchLearn about Dr. Liechty's research
Our research at the Colorado Fetal Care Center aims to improve outcomes for babies with the highest-risk and rare fetal conditions, as well as ensuring mothers experience fewer complications from fetal therapies, labor and delivery.
At the heart of our research is a focus on each child's long-term quality of life, which influences everything we do and results in:
Our research means that here, you'll find expertise for the rarest conditions, and a multidisciplinary team dedicated to improving the outlook for our unborn patients and the mothers who carry them.
As one of only five centers in the country – and the only center in the region – participating in Mayo Clinic's HLHS Consortium, we are leading the way to find solutions for patients with HLHS. Through our Fetal Cardiology Program, pregnant women with a fetal HLHS diagnosis have the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking clinical trials studying the use of cell-based regenerative therapy to transform the lives of their children born with HLHS.
Our fetal surgery team constantly strives to reduce complications; following the groundbreaking Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS), our fetal surgeons developed a modified hysterotomy closure technique that may reduce obstetric morbidity associated with prenatal MMC repair and other open fetal surgeries.
Fetal tracheal occlusion (TO) is an experimental approach used to drive accelerated lung growth in fetuses with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Despite its effectiveness, it was previously unknown how TO affected the heterogeneous metabolic zones within fetal lungs—until now.
Published in the April issue of Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Rony Marwan, MD, presented findings showing, for the first time, an understanding of the metabolic machinery that is crucial to support lung growth. This research indicates that there is heterogeneity in the response of rabbit fetal lungs to tracheal occlusion, which may explain the clinical heterogeneity we are seeing in real life with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. The study demonstrates the unique heterogeneous topological zones found in fetal lungs following tracheal occlusion for CDH, as well as a wide variation of metabolism between zones.
Laser photocoagulation can improve survival and reduce complications for twin pregnancies affected by twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), but prematurity remains a major source of neonatal morbidity and mortality for these patients. To better understand the indications and factors that influence premature delivery after laser ablation in babies facing TTTS, Michael Zaretsky, MD, and his team collected delivery information from 847 patients from 11 centers within the North American Fetal Therapy Network. This study determined that premature delivery, which on average occurs 10 weeks after laser photocoagulation and at 31 to 32 weeks gestational age, is primarily the result of spontaneous labor, preterm premature rupture of membranes and the status of the donor fetus. Researchers also found that placental abruption was a frequent complication causing early delivery.
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