Partner 5: UniversitÓ degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD)

The Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences at the University of Padova is a state of the art structure linking the university (Partner 5) and the local hospital (Partner 7), thus spanning diagnosis and treatment as well as clinical, applied and basic research. Patients with cardiovascular and thoracic diseases from across all the northeastern area of Italy are treated in this department, and pediatric patients receive treatment with the support of the Department of Pediatrics. 

The Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Surgery Unit of Padua ranks among the busiest centres for pediatric cardiovascular surgery and cardiology in the country, with over 300 surgical procedures per year, and with a high index of Complexity/Performance, as stated by the EACTS Database. The majority of congenital heart diseases are repaired within the first 3 months of life. Adults with congenital heart disease are treated for re-operation or primary repair. This centre is also part of the Baby Heart Italian Group for excellence in quality in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, the International Nomenclature Working Group which unifies a selected group of experts in congenital cardiac surgery in Europe and Northern America; the EACTS Congenital database and the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. 

UNIPD will contribute as a member of the ESPOIR clinical network and will implant 25 DHV for pulmonary valve replacement within the clinical trial and procure homografts via domino transplantation. The Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences in Padova is one of the most research-active surgical units of the country with a long history in innovative cardiac surgery and heart transplantation. It is one of the oldest medical institutions dealing with congenital heart malformations. 

The first human heart transplantation in Italy was performed here in Padova in 1985, followed by the first neonatal heart transplantation in 1987. In addition, surgery for congenital heart disease has always been performed at the highest level, allowing for the first successful palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome in Europe in 1991. Clinical evaluation and follow up of patients with congenital heart diseases who have been operated in early infancy and childhood are routinely performed to assess long term results and continuously improve surgical techniques. Projects have been published in international literature.  

Current research focuses on regenerative biomaterials and ventricular remodeling, equipping UNIPD with eminently suitable experience and resources for participation in ESPOIR. 

Contributors to ESPOIR 

Prof. Giovanni Stellin, Professor, Head of Pediatric & Congenital Cardiovascular Surgery Unit