An article published on November 6, 2012, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology documented that cardiac surgeons, in collaboration with cardiologists, at Boston Children's Hospital have successfully "recruited" the left ventricle, (the chamber of the heart that is affected by HLHS) in 12 individuals with HLHS by using a surgical procedure referred to as Staged Left Ventricle Recruitment (SLVR.)
"Children have an enormous growth and healing potential," Dr. Emani, lead author of Staged Left Ventricular Recruitment After Single-Ventricle Palliation in Patients With Borderline Left Heart Hypoplasia, explained. "We realized that rather than give up on the left ventricle and commit a child to single ventricle circulation for life, we could leverage that growth potential in a staged approach that would promote growth in the left ventricle and gradually recruit it back into operation."
As stated in the article, this approach was successful in individuals with borderline hypoplasia. Because most babies with HLHS have slit-like left ventricles and aortic and/or mitral valve atresia, this approach may not be an option in a majority of cases. If you have questions about SLVR, speak with your pediatric cardiologist or primary cardiac care provider. Read the full article at ScienceDirect.com