Midwest Fetal Care Center is dedicated to research

At the Midwest Fetal Care Center, our team is committed to research to improve outcomes for mothers and babies facing high-risk pregnancies.

Our physicians and research staff are actively researching ways to improve fetal diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, and outcomes. Our center is dedicated to forwarding the field of prenatal diagnosis and treatment by undertaking investigator-initiated research at our center, as well as by participating in a variety of collaborative research studies and clinical trials with the wider fetal therapy community.

The Midwest Fetal Care Center is an active member of the North American Fetal Therapy Network (NAFTNet), an association of top medical centers with proven expertise in fetal surgery and other fetal care services. The goal of NAFTNet is to foster collaborative research in fetal medicine, and is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Currently enrolling clinical trials and research studies

Spina bifida research

The purpose of this data registry is to collect and analyze data regarding natural history, indications for fetal interventions, and fetal outcomes associated fetal repair of spina bifida.

  • Lead center: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Lead investigator: Julie Moldenhauer, MD
  • Midwest Fetal Care Center investigator: Joseph Lillegard , MD, PhD
  • Sponsors: NAFTnet, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (5R131HD059293-05)

The purpose of this prospective observational study is to determine the prevalence and profile of sleep-disordered breathing among neonates with fetal versus post-natal spina bifida repair.

  • Lead Center: C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital, University of Michigan
  • Lead Investigator: Renee Shellhaas, MD
  • Midwest Fetal Care Center Investigators: Joseph Lillegard, MD, PhD and Joseph Petronio, MD
  • Sponsors: NAFTnet, NIH

Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome research

The purpose of this data registry is to collect and analyze data regarding natural history, indications for fetal interventions, and fetal outcomes associated with complicated monochorionic twin pregnancy.

  • Lead center: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Lead investigator: William Goodnight, MD
  • Midwest Fetal Care Center Investigators: Saul Snowise, MD and James Fisher, MD
  • Sponsors: NAFTnet

Fetal cardiology research

The purpose of this prospective intervention study aims to look at the impact of rapid treatment with IVIG and dexamethasone within 12 hours of abnormal for fetal onset of second degree heart block in moms with high titers of SSA antibodies. Learn more here.

  • Lead center: NYU Langone Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Colorado
  • Midwest Fetal Care Center Investigator: Lisa Howley, MD
  • Sponsor: NIH

The purpose of this clinical trial is to validate the use of umbilical cord blood as a source of autologous cells for the purpose of cardiac repair of congenital heart disease. Learn more about this study.

  • Lead Center: Mayo Clinic
  • Lead Investigator: Susana Cantero Peral, MD, PhD
  • Midwest Fetal Care Center investigator: Lisa Howley, MD

The purpose of this prospective observational study is to determine the probability of a normal pregnancy outcome after SVT treatment. Learn more about this study.

  • Lead Center: The Hospital for Sick Children
  • Lead Investigator: Edgar Jaeggi, MD
  • Midwest Fetal Care Center Investigator: Lisa Howley, MD
  • Sponsor: Fetal Heart Society

The purpose of this prospective observational study is to determine the rate of transplant-free survival to 1 year of life of fetuses with AVB based on the prenatal management decision to treat or not treat with fluorinated glucocorticoid from the time of immune-mediated AVB diagnosis. Learn more about this study. 

  • Lead Center: The Hospital for Sick Children
  • Lead Investigator: Edgar Jaeggi, MD
  • MWFCC Investigator: Dr. Lisa Howley, MD
  • Sponsor: Fetal Heart Society

The purpose of this prospective observational study is to assess whether fetal echocardiography measurements can predict which babies with d-TGA will have low oxygen levels after birth.

  • Lead center: University of Utah
  • Lead investigator: Fetal Heart Society
  • Midwest Fetal Care Center investigator: Lisa Howley, MD
  • Sponsor: Fetal Heart Society

The purpose of this retrospective data collection study was to analyze previously obtained fetal imaging studies using machine learning computational analysis techniques to identify diagnostic patterns in fetal congenital heart disease.

  • Lead Center: University of California San Francisco
  • Lead Investigator: Dr. Rima Arnaout, MD
  • MWFCC Investigator: Dr. Lisa Howley, MD

The purpose of this retrospective study is to identify prenatal characteristics of TA that predict both in-utero and postnatal clinical outcomes.

  • Lead Center: Lurie Children’s
  • Lead Investigator: Dr. Kelly Cox, MD
  • MWFCC Investigator: Dr. Lisa Howley, MD

The purpose of this retrospective study is to compare characteristics of prenatally diagnosed fetal pulmonary valve stenosis and newborn disease severity to inform the optimal clinical management and delivery location.

  • Lead Center: University of Pittsburgh
  • MWFCC Investigator: Dr. Lisa Howley, MD
  • Sponsor: Fetal Heart Society

Other fetal research

The purpose of this clinical trial is to investigate if delivery at 35 weeks in stable patients with gastroschisis is superior to observation and expectant management with a goal of delivery at 38 weeks. Learn more about this study.

  • Lead Center: Children’s Hospital and Health System, Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Lead Investigator: Amy Wagner, MD
  • Midwest Fetal Care Center Investigator: Joseph Lillegard, MD, PhD
  • Sponsors: NAFTnet, NIH, March of Dimes

The purpose of this observational study is to determine whether isolated aqueductal stenosis (AS) can be accurately diagnosed prenatally by use of ultrasound, MRI and maternal genetic and serologic testing in the mid-trimester.

  • Lead Center: Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Lead Investigator: Stephen P. Emery, MD
  • Midwest Fetal Care Center Investigator: Joseph Petronio, MD
  • Sponsor: NAFTnet

Anticipated 2021. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety in mother and neonate/infant of M281 administered to pregnant women who are at high risk for Early Onset Severe Hemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn (EOS-HDFN). The effectiveness of the investigational drug M281 will be measured by looking at the percentage of participants with live birth at or after gestational age (GA) 32 weeks and without a need for an intrauterine transfusion (IUT) throughout their entire pregnancy.

  • Study Director/Sponsor: Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Momenta
  • MWFCC Investigator: Dr. Saul Snowise, MD

Contact our research team

If you would like to learn more about participating in a research study or clinical trial at the Midwest Fetal Care Center, ask your doctor. You may also email our research team directly with any inquiries:

Our specialists and publications

Our fetal specialists are active in national fetal therapy associations and have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals as experts in their fields. To learn more about the individual expertise and research background of our clinical team, please visit the ‘meet the team’ page.

For a list of our center’s recent peer-reviewed publications, visit our collection on PubMed.

ADDRESS

Midwest Fetal Care Center
902 E 26th Street, Suite 1700
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Map and directions

Located in the first floor front entrance of The Mother Baby Center at Abbott Northwestern and Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis.

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