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Frank Pigula, MD

Frank Pigula
Cardiac Surgery Research
Hospital Title:
Associate in Cardiac Surgery
Academic Title:
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Research Focus Area:
Fetal cardiac surgery

Research Overview

Frank Pigula's research has focused on decreasing the long-term neurologic effects of surgery to repair cogenital heart defects, which are the consequence of hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass. Using non-invasive techniques, he and his colleagues have begun to describe some of the effects of bypass on cerebral blood flow, oxygenation, and metabolism. One of the underlying hypotheses of their work is that a non-pulsed, cooled blood flow, as well as inflammation can damage the smallest vessels of the brain by leading to arteriovenous shunting--formation of abnormal connections between the arterial system and the venous system, in which blood flow and pressure are increased. They believe that identifying the factors that promote arteriovenous shunting will enable them to design improved processes, procedures, and instruments to reduce the incidence and severity of such injuries.

About Frank Pigula

Frank Pigula received his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He completed a residency in general surgery at UVM College of Medicine and in cardiothoracic surgery at University of Pittsburgh, Presbyterian University Hospital

Key Publications 

  • Pigula FA, Nemoto EM, Griffith BP, Siewers RD: Regional low flow perfusion provides cerebral circulatory support during neonatal aortic arch reconstruction. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2000; 119: 331-9.
  • Pigula FA, Siewers RD, Nemoto EM: Hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass alters oxygen/glucose uptake in the pediatric brain. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2001;121:366-373.
  • Pigula FA, Gandhi SK, Siewers RD, Davis PJ, Webber SA, Nemoto EM: Regional low flow perfusion provides somatic circulatory support during neonatal aortic arch surgery. Ann Thor Surg. 2001; 72(2):401-407.
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