CDTRP 2023 Research Innovation Grant Competition Results

CDTRP is thrilled to announce the results of the CDTRP 2023 Research Innovation Grant Competition, made possible through our partnership with various esteemed organizations. We are proud to showcase all of the exciting projects that have been funded in this year’s competition.

We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Dr. Michael Khoury and his team for being awarded the CDTRP Big Gifts for Little Lives Research Innovation Grant. We wish them all the best as they embark on their innovative project!

CDTRP Big Gifts for Little Lives Research Innovation Grant: Dr. Michael Khoury

Utilizing Exercise Cardiovascular and Skeletal Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Evaluate Factors Associated with Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Pediatric Heart Transplant Recipients 

  • Main affiliation: University of Alberta
  • Theme 5 – Restore Long-Term Health
Lay abstract

Children who have received heart transplants have had improving outcomes across recent decades. However, these children on average have reduced fitness levels compared with children who are not heart transplant recipients (HTRs). There are multiple contributing causes for the reduced fitness levels in childhood HTRs. There has been increased interest evaluating how the heart and muscles respond to exercise in HTRs. However, no studies to date have used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which is the “gold-standard” way to measure heart function, blood circulation, and muscle function in a non-invasive way. Therefore, in this study, we plan to study the relationship between heart and muscle MRI findings with fitness levels (measured using a bicycle exercise test) in childhood HTRs. We will also study the changes in heart and muscle MRI measurements for children who have been enrolled in a separate study involving a 12-week home-based exercise program. We will recruit 10-18 year old childhood HTRs, and will aim for about 10 research participants in total.

This work will allow us to study the heart and muscle factors that contribute towards fitness levels in childhood HTRs. Using MRI, we will be able to gain new knowledge at a degree of detail that has not previously been performed to date. This may allow us to provide our patients with exercise programs in a focused and individualized way. We hope this study will provide important information that will help us undertake larger scale studies for childhood HTRs across Canada.