Addressing vascular health during childhood for preventative cardiology care

Pediatric Vascular Research Lab

The Pediatric Vascular Lab uses non-invasive measures to acquire important information about vascular health in children. Atherosclerosis (stiffening and thickening of the arteries) is not only an adult condition; it can start as early as in the womb.

There are certain conditions that put children at risk for premature atherosclerosis, including:

  • Family history of hypercholesterolemia
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity

Vascular disease is commonly the result of an unhealthy way of life, including an unhealthy diet, absence of physical exercise, and obesity. The best prevention a person at risk can do is to avoid as many risk factors as possible in order to have a healthy vascular system and we can help them do this.

In the Pediatric Vascular Lab, we examine the function of endothelial cells in the vessels, enabling us to look into the future. Abnormal vascular function is thought to represent the very early stages of atherosclerosis, giving us the information to help identify patients at risk for early arterial aging and reverse it.

The lab is led by Seda Tierney, MD. For more information, including our vascular research modalities and current studies, please visit the Stanford Medicine website.