Fall 2004

Welcome to the first issue of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital News

This newsletter, to be published in the fall and spring, provides research and clinical news from UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital to physicians throughout the region.

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Fetal Cardiac Imaging — Finding Faults in Fetal Hearts

More than 90 percent of major structural heart defects can be detected in the fetus via ultrasound screening. Currently, however, doctors who do routine prenatal screening find less than 20 percent of these defects. "That means that basic fetal ultrasound screening is not sufficient," says Dr. Lisa Hornberger, director of the Fetal Cardiovascular Program at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. Hornberger is working to improve ultrasound screening in order to increase the detection of fetal heart defects.

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Searching for the Genetics of Leukemia

Dr. Kevin Shannon and his colleagues receive blood and bone marrow samples from doctors and parents all over the world who want to know if he can tell them why their child has leukemia. For 18 years, Shannon has been searching for the pieces of genetic machinery that go awry and give rise to myeloid leukemia, and every case offers the possibility of finding something new.

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Tracking Birth Defects and Cancer Using Medical Genomics

Clinicians and researchers at UCSF have established a clinic for patients have a family history of multiple neoplasias and congenital anomalies such as musculoskeletal anomalies and minor cardiac defects. Clinic services include a comprehensive evaluation, including a dysmorphology examination of the proband and family, genetic counseling and follow-up services.

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Pioneering Neonatal ICU Celebrates 40th Year

Forty years ago at UCSF, a new concept was officially born -- a unit dedicated to monitoring and treating the sickest babies. UCSF's intensive care unit, now called the William H. Tooley Intensive Care Nursery (ICN), was one of the first of its kind. Over the years, the ICN at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and similar units worldwide have contributed to the survival and well-being of hundreds of thousands of sick and premature infants.

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Advances in Treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The intestinal tract is naturally exposed to more bacteria, including pathogens, than any other tissue in the body. But unlike the skin, which also is exposed to microbes, the bowel provides a warm, moist environment and is made of permeable tissue to allow the passage of water and nutrients. As a result, the bowel wall or lining has a smoldering, low-level inflammatory response to keep these organisms in check. Problems begin when this inflammatory response runs out of control, causing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

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Little People, Little Incisions

UCSF is known worldwide for pioneering the use of laparoscopic surgery in the womb, both on the fetus and, in the case of twin-twin transfusion syndrome, the placenta. The institution also has pioneered many minimally invasive techniques for other, more common pediatric procedures.

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Robots Connect Children to Classrooms

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital is using child-sized robots and videoconferencing technology to connect young hospital patients, who are unable to attend school, with their hometown classrooms. The system is called PEBBLES, which stands for "Providing Education by Bringing Learning Environments to Students."

Pediatric Clinics Open in Walnut Creek, Greenbrae

A new pediatric heart clinic in Walnut Creek and a multi-specialty pediatric clinic in Greenbrae have joined the more than 60 outreach clinics across Northern California operated by UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

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CME Courses

See information on upcoming continuing medical education courses.

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