Dr. Lazaros Kochilas, pediatric cardiologist at Sibley Heart Center Cardiology, says that accomplishing the overall mission to care for patients and advance the knowledge of heart disease keeps him excited about coming to work every day.
In addition to being the Director of Clinical Research at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Heart Center, Dr. Kochilas is Director of the Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium (PCCC), a long-standing multi-institutional registry of outcomes of procedures for congenital heart diseases. His main interest is the long-term outcomes of children with repaired or palliated congenital heart disease (CHD), with particular focus on patients with single ventricle. He has led and participated in multiple outcome research projects and has been an active member of the planning committees for multicenter academic and industry trials related to pediatric heart diseases. Dr. Kochilas also sees patients at Sibley’s clinic at Scottish Rite.
The PCCC was established in the early 1980s and contains more than 300,000 events for 150,000 patients who have had a surgical or a transcatheter procedure for a pediatric heart condition. The registry has followed patients and their outcomes to help physicians better understand the long-term experience after cardiac interventions. The PCCC is connected to other national event registries to provide a comprehensive picture of patient trajectories.
“We are, now, reaching for the first time for some conditions up to 40 years of follow-up time after interventions on pediatric heart patients,” Dr. Kochilas said. “We can use these data to study long-term complications affecting length and quality of life to determine which procedures have the best long-term outcomes for each form of CHD patient and who is a good candidate for surgical interventions or if other approaches are warranted.”
Dr. Kochilas has assembled a multi-disciplinary team that works together to input and analyze data and form questions that they hope to learn the answers to using the registry.
“One of the biggest questions we look at involves the most severe CHD, which is the single ventricle physiology,” he said. “Over the years, the PCCC has accumulated data on oxygen saturation and intracardiac pressures at the time of surgical procedures to determine what they mean for the well-being of patients 30 to 40 years after certain interventions have positive outcomes 10 or 20 years later.”
Dr. Kochilas said he appreciates that the environment at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta combines talent from many disciplines under the same roof. This allows coverage of just about anything that can happen to a child from the time of birth until aging out of pediatric care at 21.
“No one physician has the expertise to take care of everything, but at CHOA our patients benefit from the experience of providers across all body systems including the kidneys, liver or the lungs, for example. The collaboration of experts allows for the best possible care.”
Dr. Kochilas and his wife met 37 years ago in Greece, and they have three children and two grandchildren. Their daughter and her family live in their Atlanta neighborhood, and their younger son attends Auburn University. They just returned from the wedding of their middle son in Hong Kong.
“We are a tight, multicultural family, and we love doing active things together,” he said. “We strive to take a family vacation together every year, and that keeps us connected.”
Lazaros Kochilas, MD
- Medical school: University of Athens (Greece)
- Residency: University of Heidelberg and University of Texas Medical Center
- Fellowship: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Areas of Focus
- Complex and single ventricle congenital heart disease
- General cardiology
For more information about Sibley Heart Center Cardiology and our pediatric cardiology specialists, click here.