Clinical Impact of Autologous Cell Therapy on Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome After Bidirectional Cavopulmonary Anastomosis

the Wanek HLHS Consortium Clinical Pipeline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Preservation of right ventricle function (RV) is a key to favorable outcome in Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), but methods to preserve or improve RV function are limited. Our goal was to assess the clinical and functional impact of autologous umbilical cord blood-derived mononuclear cells (UCB-MNC) therapy when given to patients with HLHS at Stage II surgery. UCB-MNC patients were enrolled prospectively in a phase I, FDA monitored trial as previously described (Burkhart et al., 2019). Matched retrospective controls were identified by review of clinical databases. Growth and RV echocardiographic variables were assessed in both groups prestage II through the first 6 months postoperatively. Statistical comparisons between the groups at similar postoperative time points were made to define potential impact of the cell therapy. There were 7 UCB-MNC patients and 17 controls. Prestage II, most parameters showed no differences between groups, although median fractional area change (FAC) was slightly greater in the controls (FAC: controls = 45% vs UCB-MNC = 41% P= 0.02). At dismissal, FAC and estimated Ejection Fraction (EF) decreased in controls, while both were unchanged from baseline in UCB-MNC patients (ΔFAC: −5% vs -1%, P < 0.01; ΔEF: −8% vs 0%, P = 0.03, respectively). Subsequently, median FAC increased slightly in UCB-MNC patients over the 6 month follow-up period, while it decreased in controls (ΔFAC: UCB-MNC +3% vs control -5%, P = 0.03). Preoperative weight percentiles were similar in both groups (UCB-MNC 34%ile vs controls 22%ile, P = 0.93). However, by 6 months postoperative, median weight percentile improved to 63% in the UCB-MNC treated group, but declined to 8% in controls (P = 0.02). UCB-MNC therapy appears to limit the initial negative impact on RV FAC and EF seen after stage II surgery. During early follow up, FAC and weight percentile improved in UCB-MNC patients relative to controls, suggesting a beneficial effect of UCB-MNC therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-801
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • Autologous stem cell therapy
  • Clinical outcome
  • Echocardiography
  • Functionally single right ventricle
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Ventricular function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical Impact of Autologous Cell Therapy on Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome After Bidirectional Cavopulmonary Anastomosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this