Shunji Sano, PhD, MD

Pediatric heart surgeon

Dr. Shunji Sano is a pediatric heart surgeon who treats children born with heart defects. Over the course of his career, Sano has performed more than 7,000 pediatric cardiac surgeries.

Sano is world renowned for surgical innovation. He pioneered a procedure to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome that is now called the Sano procedure and used by many pediatric cardiac surgeons throughout the world. His research interests include heart stimulation, neonatal surgery and progenitor cell therapy — also called stem cell therapy.

After earning his medical and doctoral degrees at Okayama University Medical School in Japan, Sano completed residencies in general surgery at Okayama University Hospital and Hiroshima City Hospital. He completed fellowships in cardiovascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and pediatric cadriothoracic surgery at Hyogo Kenritsu Amagasaki Hospital, Okayama University Medical School, Green Lane Hospital in New Zealand and the Royal Children's Hospital in Australia.

Sano became a youngest consultant cardiac surgeon in pediatrics at Royal Children's Hospital at age 37. At age 41, he became a youngest professor and chairman at Okayama University Medical School and served in those posts for 24 years.


Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-3501
Fax: (415) 353-4144

More about Shunji Sano

Additional Languages



Okayama University School of Medicine 1977
Okayama University Medical School, Ph.D. 1982


Okayama University Medical School, General Surgery 1977
Hiroshima City Hospital, General Surgery 1978


Hyogo Kenritsu Amagasaki Hospital, Cardiovascular Surgery 1984
Okayama University Medical School, Cardiovascular Surgery 1985
Green Lane Hospital, Cardiothoracic Surgery 1987
The Royal Children's Hospital, Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery 1988

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Eitoku T, Baba K, Kondou M, Kurita Y, Fukushima Y, Hirai K, Ohtsuki S, Ishigami S, Sano S, Oh H. Transcoronary cell infusion with the stop-flow technique in children with single-ventricle physiology. Pediatr Int. 2018 Mar; 60(3):240-246.
  2. Sano T, Ousaka D, Goto T, Ishigami S, Hirai K, Kasahara S, Ohtsuki S, Sano S, Oh H. Impact of Cardiac Progenitor Cells on Heart Failure and Survival in Single Ventricle Congenital Heart Disease. Circ Res. 2018 Mar 30; 122(7):994-1005.
  3. Hirata Y, Miyata H, Hirahara N, Murakami A, Kado H, Sakamoto K, Sano S, Takamoto S. Long-Term Results of Bilateral Pulmonary Artery Banding Versus Primary Norwood Procedure. Pediatr Cardiol. 2018 Jan; 39(1):111-119.
  4. Ishigami S, Ohtsuki S, Eitoku T, Ousaka D, Kondo M, Kurita Y, Hirai K, Fukushima Y, Baba K, Goto T, Horio N, Kobayashi J, Kuroko Y, Kotani Y, Arai S, Iwasaki T, Sato S, Kasahara S, Sano S, Oh H. Intracoronary Cardiac Progenitor Cells in Single Ventricle Physiology: The PERSEUS (Cardiac Progenitor Cell Infusion to Treat Univentricular Heart Disease) Randomized Phase 2 Trial. Circ Res. 2017 Mar 31; 120(7):1162-1173.
  5. Ousaka D, Fujii Y, Oozawa S, Nishibori M, Kuroko Y, Masuda Z, Sano S. Decreased Serum Levels of High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB-1) after Graft Replacement or Stenting of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. Ann Vasc Surg. 2017 May; 41:265-270.
  6. Miyamoto Y, Masuda Z, Kotani Y, Tarui S, Kuroko Y, Fujii Y, Ozawa S, Sano S. [Delayed Diagnosis of Aortic Dissection Following Thrombolytic Therapy in a Patient with Acute Ischemic Stroke;Report of a Case]. Kyobu Geka. 2016 Nov; 69(12):1037-1040.
  7. Takeuchi H, Okuyama M, Uchida HA, Kakio Y, Umebayashi R, Okuyama Y, Fujii Y, Ozawa S, Yoshida M, Oshima Y, Sano S, Wada J. Chronic Kidney Disease Is Positively and Diabetes Mellitus Is Negatively Associated with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm. PLoS One. 2016; 11(10):e0164015.
  8. Oh H, Ito H, Sano S. Challenges to success in heart failure: Cardiac cell therapies in patients with heart diseases. J Cardiol. 2016 11; 68(5):361-367.
  9. Kijima Y, Akagi T, Takaya Y, Taniguchi M, Nakagawa K, Kusano K, Sano S, Ito H. Deficient Surrounding Rims in Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Atrial Septal Defect Closure. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2016 Aug; 29(8):768-776.
  10. Kotani Y, Kasahara S, Fujii Y, Eitoku T, Baba K, Otsuki S, Kuroko Y, Arai S, Sano S. A staged decompression of right ventricle allows growth of right ventricle and subsequent biventricular repair in patients with pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2016 Aug; 50(2):298-303.
  11. Takaya Y, Akagi T, Kijima Y, Nakagawa K, Kono S, Deguchi K, Sano S, Ito H. Influence of transcatheter closure of atrial communication on migraine headache in patients with ischemic stroke. Cardiovasc Interv Ther. 2016 Oct; 31(4):263-8.
  12. Kijima Y, Akagi T, Takaya Y, Akagi S, Nakagawa K, Kusano K, Sano S, Ito H. Treat and Repair Strategy in Patients With Atrial Septal Defect and Significant Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Circ J. 2016; 80(1):227-34.
  13. Itoh H, Ichiba S, Ujike Y, Douguchi T, Obata H, Inamori S, Iwasaki T, Kasahara S, Sano S, √úndar A. Effect of the Pulsatile Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation on Hemodynamic Energy and Systemic Microcirculation in a Piglet Model of Acute Cardiac Failure. Artif Organs. 2016 Jan; 40(1):19-26.
  14. Hirata M, Ousaka D, Arai S, Okuyama M, Tarui S, Kobayashi J, Kasahara S, Sano S. Novel Model of Pulmonary Artery Banding Leading to Right Heart Failure in Rats. Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:753210.
  15. Arai S, Fujii Y, Kotani Y, Kuroko Y, Kasahara S, Sano S. Surgical outcome of hypoplastic left heart syndrome with intact atrial septum. Asian Cardiovasc Thorac Ann. 2015 Nov; 23(9):1034-8.
  16. Fraser CD, Bacha EA, Comas J, Sano S, Sarris GE, Tsang VT. Tetralogy of Fallot. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015; 27(2):189-204.
  17. Itoh H, Ichiba S, Ujike Y, Douguchi T, Kasahara S, Arai S, Sano S. A prospective randomized trial comparing the clinical effectiveness and biocompatibility of heparin-coated circuits and PMEA-coated circuits in pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass. Perfusion. 2016 Apr; 31(3):247-54.
  18. Tarui S, Ishigami S, Ousaka D, Kasahara S, Ohtsuki S, Sano S, Oh H. Transcoronary infusion of cardiac progenitor cells in hypoplastic left heart syndrome: Three-year follow-up of the Transcoronary Infusion of Cardiac Progenitor Cells in Patients With Single-Ventricle Physiology (TICAP) trial. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015 Nov; 150(5):1198-1207, 1208.e1-2.
  19. Kawabata T, Kasahara S, Ohtsuki S, Kuroko Y, Kotani Y, Fujii Y, Yoshizumi K, Arai S, Sano S. Left Ventricular Myxoma Occluding the Suprarenal Abdominal Aorta in an Infant. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Jul; 100(1):309-11.
  20. Sugimoto K, Toda Y, Iwasaki T, Shimizu K, Kanazawa T, Muto N, Kawase H, Morimatsu H, Morita K, Maeshima Y, Mori K, Sano S. Urinary Albumin Levels Predict Development of Acute Kidney Injury After Pediatric Cardiac Surgery: A Prospective Observational Study. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2016 Jan; 30(1):64-8.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.