Academic Appointments

All Publications

  • Magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis and follow up of Takayasu's arteritis in children ANNALS OF THE RHEUMATIC DISEASES Aluquin, V. P., Albano, S. A., Chan, F., Sandborg, C., Pitlick, P. T. 2002; 61 (6): 526-529


    Takayasu's arteritis (TA) has a mortality rate of up to 40% in children. Because the clinical presentation of TA is often non-specific, accurate and prompt diagnosis depends on a high degree of awareness and appropriate laboratory and imaging studies.To examine the use of advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in evaluating, gauging activity, and following the complications of TA.T1 weighted, T2 weighted, contrast enhanced MR images, and MR angiograms of the chest and abdomen were obtained in three children (age range 11-14 years). The MRI studies confirmed the diagnosis of active TA and were repeated to evaluate response to treatment. Two patients showed complete resolution of lesions found on MRI at six and 12 months' follow up, while the third patient showed no significant improvement.MRI can be used to help establish the initial diagnosis of TA in children, and it can also be used to monitor disease activity and to guide treatment.

    View details for PubMedID 12006326

  • Pulmonary vascular compromise in a child with postpneumonectomy syndrome JOURNAL OF THORACIC AND CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY Rodefeld, M. D., Wile, F. D., Whyte, R. I., Pitlick, P. T., Black, M. D. 2000; 119 (4): 851-853

    View details for Web of Science ID 000086530600035

    View details for PubMedID 10733780

  • Three-dimensional visualization of recurrent coarctation of the aorta by electron-beam tomography and MRI CIRCULATION Pitlick, P. T., Anthony, C. L., Moore, P., Shifrin, R. Y., Rubin, G. D. 1999; 99 (23): 3086-3087

    View details for Web of Science ID 000080867700020

    View details for PubMedID 10368129

  • Pediatric cardiac transplantation. The Stanford experience. Circulation Sarris, G. E., Smith, J. A., Bernstein, D., Griffin, M. L., Pitlick, P. T., Baum, D., Billingham, M. E., Oyer, P. E., Stinson, E. B., Starnes, V. A. 1994; 90 (5): II51-5


    Cardiac transplantation for children with endstage heart disease has become an accepted form of therapy and is being practiced with increasing frequency and improving short-term outcome.To assess the medium-term outcome of pediatric cardiac transplantation, we analyzed our experience with 72 patients under the age of 18 (range, 0.1 to 17.7 years; mean, 9 +/- 6.4 [SD]) who underwent orthotopic cardiac transplantation at Stanford University between 1977 and 1993. There were 38 male and 34 female patients. Preoperative diagnoses included congenital heart disease in 24 (33%), idiopathic cardiomyopathy in 27 (37%), viral cardiomyopathy in 12 (17%), and familial cardiomyopathy in 7 (10%) patients. Immunosuppressive management has evolved over time and has included a tapering schedule of steroids, azathioprine, rabbit antithymocyte globulin, cyclosporine in all patients after 1980, and induction with OKT3 since 1987. Operative mortality rate was 12.5 +/- 4.0% (mean +/- 70% confidence intervals). Actuarial survival estimates at 1, 5, and 10 years are 75 +/- 7.1%, 60 +/- 6.4%, and 50 +/- 8.1% (mean +/- 1 SEM), respectively. Causes of death included infection in 8 (28% of deaths), rejection in 7 (24%), graft coronary disease in 5 (17%), pulmonary hypertension in 4 (14%), and nonspecific graft failure in 2 (7%) patients. Survival rates were similar for patients over and those under age 10 years (including the infant cohort of 18 patients transplanted since 1986). Currently, there are 43 patients alive, all in New York Heart Association functional class I. Only 22 +/- 5.6% of patients were free of rejection at 1 year, but 86 +/- 5.4% were free of rejection-related death at 10 years. At 1 year, only 37 +/- 6% of patients were free from any infection, but 88 +/- 4.2% remained free of infection-related death at 5 years. Actuarial freedom from graft coronary artery disease (angiographic or autopsy proven) was 85 +/- 6.6% at 5 years and from coronary artery disease-related death was 91 +/- 4.7%.These data demonstrate satisfactory medium-term outcome of cardiac transplantation in selected pediatric patients with end-stage heart disease, but further progress is necessary to more effectively control rejection, infection, and graft coronary disease.

    View details for PubMedID 7955282

  • Cardiovascular evaluation in Turner syndrome: utility of MR imaging. Australasian radiology Dawson-Falk, K. L., Wright, A. M., Bakker, B., Pitlick, P. T., Wilson, D. M., Rosenfeld, R. G. 1992; 36 (3): 204-209


    Forty patients with karyotypically proven Turner syndrome were prospectively studied using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and echocardiography in order to determine the frequency of cardiovascular anomalies and to assess the utility of both imaging modalities as methods for cardiovascular evaluation in Turner syndrome. Cardiovascular anomalies were found in 45% of patients. A high absolute prevalence of bicuspid aortic valve (17.5%) and aortic coarctation (12.5%) were observed relative to comparable series. Of clinically significant abnormalities, three of five aortic coarctations and four of five ascending aortic dilatations were solely MRI detected and not evident at echocardiographic examination. MRI is thus seen as a valuable adjunct to echocardiography in the cardiovascular evaluation of Turner syndrome patients. The usefulness of MRI primarily relates to its ability to provide excellent visualisation of the entire thoracic aorta where a large proportion of clinically significant anomalies occur in Turner syndrome.

    View details for PubMedID 1445102

  • EBSTEINS-ANOMALY APPEARING IN THE NEONATE - A NEW SURGICAL APPROACH JOURNAL OF THORACIC AND CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY Starnes, V. A., Pitlick, P. T., Bernstein, D., Griffin, M. L., Choy, M., Shumway, N. E. 1991; 101 (6): 1082-1087


    Ebstein's anomaly appearing during the neonatal period carries a high mortality rate. These infants exhibit cyanosis, acidosis, and congestive heart failure. The pathophysiologic characteristics consist of severe tricuspid regurgitation and functional pulmonary atresia. As a result of the inability of the right ventricle to generate forward flow through the pulmonary arteries, these infants remain dependent on ductal patency. Since May 1988, five newborn infants with severe Ebstein's anomaly have been admitted for treatment at our institution. At initial examination, they weighed 3.6 +/- 1.8 kg and had a mean oxygen tension of 29.6 +/- 2.3 mm Hg and a mean pH of 7.20 +/- 0.05. Chest roentgenography demonstrated a mean cardiothoracic ratio of 0.81 +/- 0.02. As determined by echocardiography, the right atria were massively enlarged, severe tricuspid regurgitation was present in all patients, and the pulmonary valves were not opening. All infants were dependent on prostaglandin E1 and attempts to wean them from this drug were unsuccessful. Palliative treatment consisted of tricuspid closure with autologous pericardium and an aortopulmonary shunt of 4 mm polytetrafluoroethylene tubing. There were no operative or late deaths. At discharge, mean oxygen tension was 42.2 +/- 0.85 mm Hg and mean systemic oxygen saturation was 83.2% +/- 1.94%. Infants have grown satisfactorily during the follow-up period. Three infants have since returned for further surgical intervention. One infant, at 11 months of age, underwent a Glenn anastomosis for progressive oxygen desaturation. Two infants have returned, at ages 23 and 22 months, for Fontan procedures, which represent their definitive operative management. We believe this new procedure offers excellent palliative treatment for Ebstein's anomaly in critically ill neonates. Feasibility of later definitive correction is demonstrated by the good results obtained with the Fontan procedure in two infants.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991FQ11100018

    View details for PubMedID 2038202


    View details for Web of Science ID A1988Q321400045

    View details for PubMedID 3421192

  • Severe superior vena cava syndrome and hydrocephalus after the Mustard procedure: findings and a new surgical approach. Circulation COULSON, J. D., Pitlick, P. T., Miller, D. C., French, J. W., Marshall, W. H., Fryer, A. D., Shumway, N. E. 1984; 70 (3): I47-53


    Some degree of obstruction of the superior vena cava is common after the Mustard operation for transposition of the great arteries. This can cause superior vena cava syndrome, which in extreme cases may lead to hydrocephalus in young children. While revision of the intra-atrial baffle can be performed, this procedure is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and may not resolve the problem. We describe an alternative operative approach in a group of patients who had superior vena cava syndrome after the Mustard procedure: anastomosis of the innominate vein to the left atrial appendage. This procedure is not complicated to perform and is safe; symptoms were relieved in all patients.

    View details for PubMedID 6378426



    Important questions exist about the relative roles of changes in heart rate versus extent of myocardial shortening in regulating fetal cardiac output, because increases in heart rate created by left atrial pacing have been shown to increase right ventricular output and decrease left ventricular output. Since the pacemaker site could importantly influence foramen ovale flow and, hence, each ventricle's output, changes in individual ventricular outputs were examined when both the right and left atria were paced at a rate of 270 beats/min in five acute and in eight chronically instrumented fetal lamb studies. With pacing of either atrium, total cardiac output was unchanged compared to control values. However, the right ventricle contributed more to total cardiac output with left atrial pacing (73% acute, 65% chronic) than with right atrial pacing (51% acute, 57% chronic). Converse changes were observed in left atrial pacing (27% acute, 35% chronic) as compared to right atrial pacing (49% acute, 43% chronic). Thus the disparity that exists normally in the contributions of the right and left ventricles to total cardiac output is accentuated with left atrial pacing and minimized with right atrial pacing. Pressure measurements demonstrated changes in the atrial pressure relations that would be expected to alter flow across the foramen ovale depending on the chamber initially activated. Previous experimental differences can, therefore, be attributed to changes in the magnitude of shunting across the foramen ovale and depend on pacemaker location.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1976CC86000035

    View details for PubMedID 786042



    The prostaglandins affect smooth-muscle tone of the ductus arteriosus. Patent ductus often complicates the clinical course of prematurely born infants with respiratory-distress syndrome. In the present study, a single oral or rectal dose of a potent inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis, indomethacin, was administered to six consecutive premature infants with the syndrome who would otherwise have undergone surgical ligation of the patent ductus. Within 24 hours all the clinical symptoms and physical, echocardiographic and radiographic signs attributable to substantial left-to-right shunting through a patent ductus arteriosus dramatically and permanently disappeared. A transient reduction in renal function was observed in two infants in whom sustained ill-effects did not occur. The observation that constriction and closure of the patent ductus arteriosus may be induced pharmacologically raises important possibilities for the improved treatment of the respiratory-distress syndrome.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1976CB97100003

    View details for PubMedID 820994