Collaborative Research from the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society: CoRe-PCICS

Christopher W. Mastropietro, MD, FCCM
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine
Medical Director of the Cardiovascular ICU, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health

Christopher W. Mastropietro, MD, FCCM
Christopher W. Mastropietro, MD, FCCM

Over the past decade, with the formation and refinement of data registries such as the Virtual Pediatric Systems, LLC (VPS), Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database (STS-CHSD), and the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium (PC4), we now have the ability to address many important questions with multicenter data. The importance of the advent and expansion of these registries to our field cannot be understated. However, the questions that can be asked and answered using the data available within the registries are limited. In 2014, I wanted to use multicenter data to study the common and often life-threatening problem of neonatal extubation failure in the pediatric cardiac ICU. As I was creating my research protocol, it became clear that many of the variables that I was hoping to include would not be available in the current registries. In other words, if I wanted to accomplish the aims of my study, I would have to find another way.

I then decided to reach out to former co-fellows and trainees who were now practicing at other institutions. I shared my proposal, which was greeted with enthusiasm, not just in response to the study, but in response to the idea of collaboration amongst friends and colleagues. From this enthusiasm, Collaborative Research in Pediatric Care Intensive Care (CoRe-PCIC) was born. After our initial collaborative of seven institutions completed a prospective observational study of 295 patients who underwent neonatal cardiac surgery, we were able to identify modifiable risk factors for the occurrence of neonatal extubation failure (PMID: 28063686). This study has resulted in the publication of three manuscripts which, in my biased opinion, have provided meaningful contributions to our field.

Since completion of our inaugural project, CoRe-PCIC has grown and prospered. In 2017, investigators from 15 institutions successfully completed a multi-center study focused on over 200 children with truncus arteriosus, a rare, but potentially life-threatening congenital heart lesion. Two manuscripts containing valuable data collected in this study have already been published and three additional manuscripts based on planned sub-analyses are in progress. Most recently, after increasing our membership to 20 institutions, CoRe-PCIC has completed data collection on over 200 children and adults with anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) and are in the early stages of several other projects. 

This year, we have joined forces with PCICS and, consequently, have changed our moniker to CoRe-PCICS, or Collaborative Research from the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society. While we are excited about this partnership for many reasons, I personally am most excited about the potential to inspire other members of the Society to either join our collaborative or start collaborative research initiatives of their own. I am grateful to the Society for this opportunity and am incredibly eager for CoRe-PCICS to continue to expand and evolve.

For additional information about CoRe-PCICS, please e-mail me.

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