Effects of Thymectomy During Cardiothoracic Surgery

The recruitment status of this study is unknown because the information has not been verified recently.
Verified November 2005 by University of California, Los Angeles.
Recruitment status was  Recruiting
Information provided by:
University of California, Los Angeles
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First received: December 5, 2005
Last updated: September 7, 2006
Last verified: November 2005

The thymus is known to be the site of T cell development in humans. Due to its location in the chest in front of the heart, incidental thymecomy is commonly performed during cardiothoracic surgery, especially in infants and children, so that surgeons may gain access to the surgical field. This practice has been considered safe because it was thought that the thymus is inactive after birth. However, recent data using newly developed techniques has demonstrated that the thymus normally is active well into adulthood. In addition, in a previous study (UCLA IRB # 02-03-008-02) we have demonstrated alterations in lymphocyte (T cells) number in individuals who have undergone thymectomy in childhood but we do not know how immunity is affected. We plan to investigate if immune development or immune function later in life is affected by the loss of T cell production caused by thymectomy during cardiothoracic surgical procedures in childhood. At UCLA, a large number of patients are seen who have congenital heart disease and undergo surgical procedures for correction or repair and many children and adults are followed for many years after they have undergone surgical procedures. Subjects for study will be recruited from among these patients.

We propose a study which will examine the number and activity of lymphocytes obtained from blood samples from child and young adult subjects who have undergone surgery in early childhood. We will determine if these subjects have had complete thymectomy in the past using CT or MRI (obtained during routine care) or, for subjects who are having cardiothoracic surgery, by visualization of thymic tissue during the procedure. In addition we will give vaccination for a common viral illness (hepatitis A) and measure immune responses to it (from a blood sample). As part of this study, we will ask for medical information consisting of a history of congenital cardiac disease and other diagnoses (such as asthma), a history of infections and hospitalizations, and information about immunizations. We will also ask about a list of specific symptoms which will give us information about the function of the immune system.

Condition Intervention
Thymectomy and Cardiothoracic Surgery
Behavioral: Pain Questionnaire

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Diagnostic

Further study details as provided by University of California, Los Angeles:


Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 35 Years   (Child, Adult)
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age: birth to 35 years.
  • Planning cardiac surgical procedure at UCLA Medical Center.
  • For subjects with a history of prior cardiothoracic surgery: undergoing CT or MRI evaluation prior to reoperation.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Unable to travel to UCLA Medical Center for follow up blood tests (infants and young children in longitudinal study)
  • Known thymus/immune deficiency disorder (i.e. DiGeorge Syndrome)
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Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00263120

Contact: Nancy J. Halnon, M.D. 310/825-5296 jhalnon@mednet.ucla.edu

United States, California
UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic Recruiting
Los Angeles, California, United States, 90095
Contact: Nancy J. Halnon, M.D.    310-825-5296    nhalnon@mednet.ucla.edu   
Principal Investigator: Nancy J. Halnon, M.D.         
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, Los Angeles
Principal Investigator: Nancy J. Halnon, M.D. Pediatric Cardiology, UCLA
  More Information

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00263120     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2005-12-003Halnon 
Study First Received: December 5, 2005
Last Updated: September 7, 2006
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

ClinicalTrials.gov processed this record on July 24, 2016