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Long-term Outcomes of Aortic Heart Valve Surgery in Children

Dr Michael Zhu, Institution: Murdoch Children's Research Institute

2021 PhD Scholarship  

Years funded: 2022-2026

Over 2500 children are born with congenital heart disease in Australia each year. Up to 7% will have an abnormal aortic heart valve and need major open-heart surgery to survive. Although surgery is often initially successful, a child with aortic valve disease may need multiple heart operations by early adulthood and the risk of heart and valve failure remains a lifelong problem. Crucially, the ideal strategy for aortic valve surgery in children is unclear, and the long-term prognosis, healthcare needs and quality of life for these patients are unknown.

The research of Dr Zhu will study the long-term outcomes of surgery across the entire spectrum of aortic valve diseases in children at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. The study will span 40 years of data and be one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind worldwide. The research will discover which patients are most at risk of early death, reoperation and worse long-term outcomes. This will help improve the surgical and whole-of-life care of individuals affected by childhood aortic valve disease.

This project is co-funded with NHMRC - National Health and Medical Research Council.

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