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The Canadian pediatric cardiology research network, a bold project spearheaded by Dr. Frédéric Dallaire


Cardiac defects in children are more frequent than most people think (80 times more frequent than cancer). They are, moreover, the cause of nearly 25% of all infant deaths, and the children who are thus afflicted but survive will require care throughout their lives. Many of them will also need to undergo cardiac surgery, including open heart surgery. Congenital cardiac defects can manifest in a number of ways and have varying impacts on children. Furthermore, even following a successful surgery, symptoms and complaints can emerge, sometimes many years after a child is born.

Research implicating children being treated at numerous hospitals across the country is necessary if we hope to improve the health of children suffering from a cardiac defect. The Canadian pediatric cardiology research network was created to help research scientists implement such major studies on a Canada-wide basis. The goal? To promote cooperation in research as a means of improving the health of children suffering with a heart disease. This cooperation has proven particularly critical in the planning, design and execution of multicentric studies, and has also made the process of sharing and disseminating research results simpler and more efficient. This network will be of great help to those examining various treatments, in addition to helping us better understand how cardiac problems develop as children grow.

To date, 32 cardiologists and researchers from 13 pediatric hospitals in Canada have joined the network. Five research projects are currently underway:
Project 1. Study of the effect of obesity on the adjustment of echocardiography measurements in infants.
Project 2. Study of the prognostic value of cardiopulmonary stress testing in children suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy.
Project 3. Role of medical treatments in decreasing the dilation rate of the aorta among children with a bicuspid aortic valve.
Project 4. Setting up of a cohort of Québec children with a cardiac defect.
Project 5. Study on the risk of cardiovascular disease among children afflicted with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

One of the network’s major strengths is the combined expertise of its members, which researchers can count on at every step of the research process (study implementation, ethics review, data gathering, data analysis, communications and data warehousing). The members, dedicated pediatric cardiology research scientists, give freely of their time to ensure the network’s success.

The Foundation of Stars’ mission of supporting multi-institutional pediatric cardiology research, particularly as regards perinatal health, is aptly represented when we support projects such as that of Dr. Frédéric Dallaire.


Project director: Dr Frédéric Dallaire, CIUSSSE – CHUS and CHUS Research Centre.
Contributors: Pre Marie‐Claude Battista, CHUS Research Centre, Drs Nagib Dahdah, Marie‐Josée Raboisson and Jean‐Luc Bigras, CHU Sainte‐Justine, Montreal, Drs Christian Drolet, Laurence Vaujois, Christine Houde and Philippe Chetaille, Quebec City University Hospital, Drs Adrian Dancea, Tiscar Cavallé‐Garrido, Wadi Mawad and Claudia Renaud, CUSM, Montreal, Dre Émilie Jean‐St‐Michel, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Drs Andrew Mackie et Jennifer Conway, Stollery Children's Hospital, Edmonton, Drs Arif Hussain and Santokh Dhillon, IWK Health Center, Halifax, Dr Tim Bradley, Royal University Hospital, Saskatchewan, Dr Steven Greenway, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Calgary, Dr Daryl Schantz, Variety Children's Heart Centre, Winnipeg, Drs Derek Human, Kevin Harris, and Kathryn Armstrong, BC Children's Hospital, Vancouver.