Akif Undar, Ph.D.
Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery and Bioengineering
- B.S.: Yildiz University
- M.S.: Southwest Texas State University
- M.S.E.: University of Texas at Austin
- Ph.D.: University of Texas at Austin
Minimizing Adverse Outcomes After Pediatric Open-Heart Surgery
Congenital heart anomalies are the most common birth defect in the United States. Each year, approximately 10,000 babies (1 of every 115) born in the United States have a congenital heart defect that will require operative repair with the aid of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) during early childhood. Approximately 20,000 children (aged 0 to 5 years) annually will undergo procedures that require CPB. Although complex surgical corrections now entail lower mortality rates than ever before, injury to vital organs (the brain, kidneys, lungs, and heart) after hypothermic CPB, with or without deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA), occurs in up to 30% of postoperative pediatric heart patients. Vital-organ injury affects the short- and long-term outcomes in this group. My passion is to develop novel technologies and methodologies to be used in minimizing the adverse effects of CPB in neonates, infants, and small children. In particular, I focus on research in minimizing cerebral, myocardial, pulmonary, and renal injury during and after pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass procedures. My research interests include pediatric heart-lung machines, pulsatile versus non-pulsatile perfusion, pediatric mechanical circulatory support systems, complement, neutrophils, platelets, and cytokine inhibition during pediatric open-heart procedures, microdevices for measuring systemic inflammation in real-time, blood viscoelasticity, and plasma proteomics.
With the help of current and retired faculty including Drs. John Myers, Gus Rosenberg, Craig Hillemeier, William Pierce, and John Waldhausen from the Penn State College of Medicine, we created The Annual International Conference on Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory Support Systems and Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Perfusion in 2005. All recent updates regarding this unique event can be found at http://www.pennstatehershey.org/web/pedscpb.
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