Christian Pizarro, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Primary Office

Nemours Children's Hospital, Delaware Nemours Children's Hospital, Delaware 1600 Rockland Road Wilmington, DE 19803 Appointment: (800) 416-4441

Other Offices

Get to Know Me

Christian Pizarro, MD, is chief, pediatric cardiothoracic surgery; member, Congenital Heart Surgeons Society, American Heart Association, Society of Thoracic Surgeons and American Association for Thoracic Surgery; board member, Surgeons of Hope Foundation; international lecturer; researcher and author of more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Education & Training

Fellowship

  • Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surge - Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, 1997

Internship

  • Transitional - St. Luke's Hospital, 1988
  • General Surgery - Pennsylvania Hospital, 1989

Residency

  • General Surgery - Pennsylvania Hospital, 1994
  • Thoracic Surgery - Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania, 1996

Medical/Dental School

  • MD - University of Chile School of Medicine, 1985

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery

Awards & Recognition

  • 2014 Best Doctors in America
  • 2014 Delaware Today magazine, Top Doctors
  • 2013 Best Doctors in America
  • 2011 Best Doctors in America
  • 2021 Top Doctors 2021 — Most Accomplished Doctors of Hispanic Descent in Our Region, AL DÍA News

Insurance Accepted

  • Accountable Health Plans PPO
  • Aetna Better Health PA Kids HMO
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna PPO/EPO/POS
  • Aetna PPO/POS/EPO
  • Amerihealth Caritas DE - PENNSYLVANIA SPECIALISTS ONLY
  • Amerihealth Caritas Delaware
  • Amerihealth Caritas Delaware NJ
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield HMO
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield Non HMO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Florida Blue Select
  • Carefirst MD Community Health Plan Mcaid
  • Carefirst MD Community Health Plan Mcaid
  • Cigna & Great West HMO/POS Open Access
  • Cigna & Great West HMO/POS/EPO
  • Cigna & Great West PPO
  • Cigna & Great West PPO/EPO
  • Cigna/Great West HMO EPO POS
  • Cigna/Great West PPO
  • Community Care Plan Medicaid
  • Delaware First Health
  • Delaware Medicaid/Diamond State
  • Devon Health Services
  • Evolutions Healthcare
  • Fidelis Care NJ Medicaid HMO
  • First Health PPO
  • First Health/Affordable PPO
  • Florida Medicaid
  • Geisinger Health Plan Commercial
  • Global Medical Managment DE/PA
  • Health First Health Plans
  • Health Partners Medicaid/Kidz Partner HMO
  • Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Delaware Traditional
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware HMO PPO POS EPO
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware Traditional
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delware HMO PPO POS EPO
  • Highmark Medicaid Health Options
  • Highmark PA CHIP & Commercial
  • Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield NJ HMO
  • Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield NJ PPO
  • Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NJ HMO
  • Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NJ PPO
  • Independance Blue Cross/Amerihealth/Keystone Health Plan HMO/PPO
  • Independence Blue Cross/Amerihealth/Keystone HMO PPO
  • Insurance Administrators of America
  • INTEGRA Administrative Group (ClaimsBridge)
  • Keystone First Medicaid HMO
  • Lifetrac Transplant
  • Multiplan PPO
  • New Jersey Medicaid
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare PPO NJ
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare PPO ORL
  • Pennsylvania Medicaid
  • Plan Vista/NPPN PPO
  • Preferred Healthcare PPO
  • Prime Health Services PPO Specialty Florida
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Qualcare HMO/POS/PPO
  • Seminole Tribe of Florida
  • Simply Healthcare Healthy Kids
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Star Healthcare Network
  • Star Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine SMI/CMS 19 & 21
  • Sunshine State Health Plan Medicaid
  • Three Rivers Provider Network
  • Tricare/Humana Military Health Services
  • United Healthcare of the Mid-Atlantic
  • UPMC MCAID/CHIP PA DE
  • US Family Health Plan
  • Wellpoint Maryland Medcaid
  • Wellpoint Maryland Medicaid

Medical Interests

  • Complex heart disease
  • Ebstein's anomaly
  • Heart transplantation
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Mechanical circulatory support
  • Neonatal surgery
  • Single ventricle
  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
  • Transposition of the great arteries
  • Truncus arteriosus

  • Aortopulmonary artery fistula: A rare complication of balloon dilatation of the pulmonary artery; Annals of Pediatric Cardiology; (2022).

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  • Single ventricle palliation of truncus arteriosus with mitral atresia, interrupted aortic arch, and aberrant right subclavian artery; Cardiology in the Young; (2022).

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  • Commentary: Pursuing the optimal vasoactive support post-stage I Norwood: Don't trust, just verify; JTCVS Open; (2022).

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  • Commentary: Outcomes and causes of late failure of valve-sparing aortic root replacement; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2022).

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  • Commentary: Aortic valve intervention in children: The jury is still out; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2022).

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  • Factors associated with mortality or transplantation versus Fontan completion after cavopulmonary shunt for patients with tricuspid atresia; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2022).

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  • In memory of William I. Norwood; European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery; (2021).

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  • Tracheal narrowing in children and adults with mucopolysaccharidosis type IVA: evaluation with computed tomography angiography; Pediatric Radiology; (2021).

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  • Six-year neurodevelopmental outcomes for children with single-ventricle physiology; Pediatrics; (2021).

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  • Impact of Major Residual Lesions on Outcomes After Surgery for Congenital Heart Disease; Journal of the American College of Cardiology; (2021).

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  • Pulmonary artery banding in complete atrioventricular septal defect; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2020).

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  • Early Surgical Closure of Atrial Septal Defect Improves Clinical Status of Symptomatic Young Children with Underlying Pulmonary Abnormalities; Pediatric Cardiology; (2020).

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  • Commentary: Unlocking the enigma of neurobehavioral abnormalities after surgery for congenital heart disease; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2020).

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  • Commentary: Hybrid palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome: Still feels like the tower of Babel; JTCVS Open; (2020).

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  • Echocardiographic assessment of mechanical circulatory support and heart transplant; Progress in Pediatric Cardiology; (2020).

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  • Introduction; Progress in Pediatric Cardiology; (2020).

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  • Late management of the aortic root after repair of tetralogy of Fallot: A European multicentre study; Journal of Cardiac Surgery; (2020).

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  • Lymphatic Management in Single-Ventricle Patients; Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery: Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Annual; (2020).

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  • Valve-Sparing Neoaortic Root Replacement Post Norwood; Operative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2020).

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  • The Pediatric Heart Network Residual Lesion Score Study: Design and objectives; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2020).

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  • The Bayley-III scale may underestimate neurodevelopmental disability after cardiac surgery in infants; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2020).

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  • Variation in care for children undergoing the Fontan operation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome; Cardiology in the Young; (2019).

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  • Social Risk Factors Impact Hospital Readmission and Outpatient Appointment Adherence for Children with Congenital Heart Disease; Journal of Pediatrics; (2019).

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  • Refining The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database Mortality Risk Model With Enhanced Risk Adjustment for Chromosomal Abnormalities, Syndromes, and Noncardiac Congenital Anatomic Abnormalities; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2019).

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  • Gestational age, birth weight, and outcomes six years after the norwood procedure; Pediatrics; (2019).

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  • Behavior and quality of life at 6 years for children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome; Pediatrics; (2019).

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  • Transplant-free survival and interventions at 6 years in the SVR trial; Circulation; (2018).

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  • Surgical Management and Outcomes of Ebstein Anomaly in Neonates and Infants: A Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database Analysis; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2018).

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  • Natural history of Morquio A patient with tracheal obstruction from birth to death; Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports; (2018).

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  • Molecular genetics and metabolism, special edition: Diagnosis, diagnosis and prognosis of Mucopolysaccharidosis IVA; Molecular Genetics and Metabolism; (2018).

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  • Completeness and Accuracy of Local Clinical Registry Data for Children Undergoing Heart Surgery; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2017).

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  • Is a hybrid strategy a lower-risk alternative to stage 1 Norwood operation?; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2017).

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  • Destination therapy with ventricular assist devices for patients with dystrophinopathies: A new way of life; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2017).

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  • Early and late outcomes after surgical repair of congenital supravalvular aortic stenosis: A European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association multicentric study; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2017).

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  • Invited Commentary; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2017).

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  • Left-Sided Reoperations After Arterial Switch Operation: A European Multicenter Study; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2017).

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  • Urgent listing exceptions and outcomes in pediatric heart transplantation: Comparison to standard criteria patients; Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation; (2017).

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  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database: 2017 Update on Outcomes and Quality; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2017).

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  • Mucopolysaccharidosis IVA and glycosaminoglycans; Molecular Genetics and Metabolism; (2017).

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  • Management of Congenital Heart Disease Associated with Ellis-van Creveld Short-rib Thoracic Dysplasia; Journal of Pediatrics; (2017).

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  • Activity of daily living for Morquio A syndrome; Molecular Genetics and Metabolism; (2016).

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  • Factors affecting Fontan length of stay: Results from the Single Ventricle Reconstruction trial; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2016).

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  • Current therapies for Morquio A syndrome and their clinical outcomes; Expert Opinion on Orphan Drugs; (2016).

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  • The society of thoracic surgeons congenital heart surgery database: 2016 update on outcomes and quality; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2016).

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  • The challenging quest of neonatal Ebstein management; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2016).

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  • Surgical Reconstruction for Severe Tracheal Obstruction in Morquio A Syndrome; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2016).

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  • Obstructive airway in Morquio A syndrome, the past, the present and the future; Molecular Genetics and Metabolism; (2016).

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  • Impact of Operative and Postoperative Factors on Neurodevelopmental Outcomes After Cardiac Operations; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2016).

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  • A range of options for staged palliation of hypoplastic left heart syndrome; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2015).

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  • Useful signs for the assessment of vascular rings on cross-sectional imaging; Pediatric Radiology; (2015).

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  • The society of thoracic surgeons congenital heart surgery database mortality risk model: Part 2 - Clinical application; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2015).

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  • Neuro developmental outcomes after cardiac surgery in infancy; Pediatrics; (2015).

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  • Low body mass index is associated with increased waitlist mortality among children listed for heart transplant; Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation; (2015).

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  • Keeping the fundamentals in mind; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2015).

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  • Hybrid palliation for critical systemic outflow obstruction: Neither rapid stage 1 Norwood nor comprehensive stage 2 mitigate consequences of early risk factors; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2015).

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  • Decision-Making for Surgery in the Management of Patients with Univentricular Heart; Frontiers in Pediatrics; (2015).

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  • Neurodevelopmental outcomes after infant cardiac surgery with circulatory arrest and intermittent perfusion; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2014).

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  • Discussion; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2014).

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  • Risk factors for prolonged length of stay after the stage 2 procedure in the single-ventricle reconstruction trial; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2014).

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  • Bilateral pulmonary arterial banding results in an increased need for subsequent pulmonary artery interventions; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2014).

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  • Anomalous Aortic Origin of a Coronary Artery: A Report From the Congenital Heart Surgeons Society Registry; World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Hearth Surgery; (2014).

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  • Management of residual lesions following surgery for congenital heart defects: Evidence versus judgment; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2014).

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  • Laryngopharyngeal dysfunction independent of vocal fold palsy in infants after aortic arch interventions; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2014).

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  • Improving early outcomes following hybrid procedure for patients with single ventricle and systemic outflow obstruction: Defining risk factors; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2014).

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  • First use of an intra-pericardial continuous flow ventricular assist device in a child with muscular dystrophy; Cardiology in the Young; (2014).

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  • Creation of a quantitative score to predict the need for mechanical support in children awaiting heart transplant; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2014).

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  • Technical performance score is associated with outcomes after the Norwood procedure; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2014).

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  • The use of the Berlin heart EXCOR in patients with functional single ventricle; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2014).

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  • Scoliosis surgery in children with congenital heart disease; Spine; (2014).

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  • Transplantation-free survival and interventions at 3 years in the single ventricle reconstruction trial; Circulation; (2014).

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  • Ventricular assist devices as a bridge-to-transplant improve early post-transplant outcomes in children; Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation; (2014).

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  • Variation in feeding practices following the Norwood procedure; Journal of Pediatrics; (2014).

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  • Validation of association of the apolipoprotein e ε2 allele with neurodevelopmental dysfunction after cardiac surgery in neonates and infants; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2014).

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  • An empirically based tool for analyzing morbidity associated with operations for congenital heart disease; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2013).

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  • Regional variation in survival before and after pediatric heart transplantation - An analysis of the UNOS database; American Journal of Transplantation; (2013).

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  • Prevalence of scoliosis in patients with Fontan circulation; Archives of Disease in Childhood; (2013).

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  • Predictive value of perioperative near-infrared spectroscopy for neurodevelopmental outcomes after cardiac surgery in infancy; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2013).

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  • Gastrointestinal complications after stage i Norwood versus hybrid procedures; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2013).

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  • Invited commentary; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2013).

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  • Current spectrum of surgical procedures performed for Ebstein's malformation: An analysis of the society of thoracic surgeons congenital heart surgery database; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2013).

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  • Current cardioplegia practice in pediatric cardiac surgery: A North American multiinstitutional survey; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2013).

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  • Predictive value of near-infrared spectroscopy on neurodevelopmental outcome after surgery for congenital heart disease in infancy; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2012).

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  • Intermediate-term mortality and cardiac transplantation in infants with single-ventricle lesions: Risk factors and their interaction with shunt type; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2012).

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  • Cause, timing, and location of death in the Single Ventricle Reconstruction trial; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2012).

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  • Biventricular strategies for neonatal critical aortic stenosis: High mortality associated with early reintervention; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2012).

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  • Aortic valve replacement in neonates and infants: An analysis of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2012).

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  • Invited Commentary: Management of Anomalous Origin of the Left Coronary Artery From the Pulmonary Artery; World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery; (2012).

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  • Outcome After Two-Patch Repair of Complete Common Atrioventricular Canal Defects in Patients Weighing Four Kilograms or Less; World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery; (2012).

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  • Variation in perioperative care across centers for infants undergoing the Norwood procedure; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2012).

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  • Variation in outcomes for risk-stratified pediatric cardiac surgical operations: An analysis of the STS congenital heart surgery database; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2012).

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  • Using the UNOS/SRTR and PHTS Databases to Improve Quality in Pediatric Cardiac Transplantation; World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery; (2012).

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  • Risk factors for hospital morbidity and mortality after the Norwood procedure: A report from the Pediatric Heart Network Single Ventricle Reconstruction trial; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2012).

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  • Variation in outcomes for benchmark operations: An analysis of the society of thoracic surgeons congenital heart surgery database; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2011).

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  • Valve-sparing neo-aortic root replacement after Fontan completion for hypoplastic left heart syndrome; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2011).

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  • Reporting adverse events in a surgical trial for complex congenital heart disease: The Pediatric Heart Network experience; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2011).

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  • Invited commentary; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2011).

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  • Intermediate neurodevelopmental outcome after repair of ventricular septal defect; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2010).

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  • Hard Choices for High-Risk Patients With Critical Left Ventricular Outflow Obstruction: Contemporary Comparison of Hybrid Versus Surgical Strategy; World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery; (2010).

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  • Echocardiographic definition and surgical decision-making in unbalanced atrioventricular septal defect: A congenital heart surgeons' society multiinstitutional study; Circulation; (2010).

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  • Ross and Yasui operations for complex biventricular repair in infants with critical left ventricular outflow tract obstruction; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2010).

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  • Discussion; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2010).

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  • Three-dimensional culture alters primary cardiac cell phenotype; Tissue Engineering - Part A; (2010).

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  • Comparison of shunt types in the Norwood procedure for single-ventricle lesions; New England Journal of Medicine; (2010).

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  • Unbalanced Atrioventricular Septal Defect: Definition and Decision Making; World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery; (2010).

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  • Bailout After Failed Biventricular Management of Critical Aortic Stenosis: Another Application of the Hybrid Approach; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2009).

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  • Hybrid Procedure for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: The Nemours Approach; Operative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2009).

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  • An empirically based tool for analyzing mortality associated with congenital heart surgery; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2009).

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  • Outcomes following non-valved autologous reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract in neonates and infants; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2008).

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  • Neurological complications associated with the treatment of patients with congenital cardiac disease: consensus definitions from the Multi-Societal Database Committee for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease.; Cardiology in the young; (2008).

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  • Improving the outcome of high-risk neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome: hybrid procedure or conventional surgical palliation?; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2008).

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  • Complications related to the transplantation of thoracic organs: consensus definitions from the Multi-Societal Database Committee for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease.; Cardiology in the young; (2008).

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  • An unusual case of button batteryyinduced traumatic tracheoesophageal fistula; Pediatric Emergency Care; (2008).

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  • Stage II Reconstruction After Hybrid Palliation for High-Risk Patients With a Single Ventricle; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2008).

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  • The assessment of complexity in congenital cardiac surgery based on objective data.; Cardiology in the young; (2008).

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  • Invited commentary; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2007).

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  • Intracardiac inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor: a unique presentation; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2007).

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  • Critical left ventricular outflow tract obstruction: The disproportionate impact of biventricular repair in borderline cases; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2007).

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  • Aristotle score predicts outcome in patients requiring extracorporeal circulatory support following repair of congenital heart disease; ASAIO Journal; (2007).

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  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome; Surgery for Congenital Heart Defects: Third Edition; (2006).

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  • Fontan Completion in Infants; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2006).

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  • Modified CPB circuit for postoperative rescue of high-risk patients following cardiac repair: Are we keeping safe?; ASAIO Journal; (2006).

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  • Neonatal repair of tetralogy of Fallot results in improved pulmonary artery development without increased need for reintervention; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2005).

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  • Off pump palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome: Surgical approach; Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Annual; (2005).

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  • Routine primary repair of tetralogy of Fallot in the neonate; Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy; (2005).

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  • Right ventricle to pulmonary artery conduit reduces interim mortality after stage 1 Norwood for hypoplastic left heart syndrome; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2004).

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  • New developments in the treatment of hypoplastic left heart syndrome; Minerva Pediatrica; (2004).

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  • Total cavopulmonary connection to one lung; Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Annual; (2004).

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  • Vascular matrix remodeling in patients with bicuspid aortic valve malformations: Implications for aortic dilatation; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2003).

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  • Right ventricle-pulmonary artery shunt in first-stage palliation of hypoplastic left heart syndrome; Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; (2003).

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  • Right ventricle to pulmonary artery conduit improves outcome after stage I Norwood for hypoplastic left heart syndrome; Circulation; (2003).

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  • Right ventricle to pulmonary artery conduit has a favorable impact on postoperative physiology after Stage I Norwood: Preliminary results; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2003).

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  • Pulmonary artery banding before Norwood procedure; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (2003).

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  • Hemodynamic profile after the Norwood procedure with right ventricle to pulmonary artery conduit; Circulation; (2003).

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  • Stage I palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome in low birth weight neonates: Can we justify it?; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2002).

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  • Is there a role for extracorporeal life support after stage I Norwood?; European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery; (2001).

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  • Early reduction of the volume work of the single ventricle: The hemi-Fontan operation; Annals of Thoracic Surgery; (1996).

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  • Experimental model of single ventricle: Influence of carbon dioxide on pulmonary vascular dynamics; Circulation; (1994).

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