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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Glen Van Arsdell, MD

The Hospital for Sick Children
Cardiovascular Surgery

University of Toronto

Division of Cardiac Surgery

Chair Positions

The Hospital for Sick Children
Cardiovascular Research
CIT Chair

Phone: 416-813-6420
Fax: 416-813-7984
Email: glen.vanarsdell@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:

Cardiovascular Surgery

Labatt Family Heart Centre

Brief Biography

Dr. Glen Van Arsdell has been at SickKids in the capacity of Staff Surgeon since August of 1996. He became Head of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery in July of 2001. His clinical practice focuses primarily on neonatal repairs, palliation, complex cases, and adult congenital surgery.

Van Arsdell’s academic focus is on defining the detailed physiology of infants and neonates following single ventricle surgery. Several peer reviewed grants have been obtained for this endeavor. A laboratory research program is run in concert with the clinical research. For example, a number of single ventricle patients require 3 operations before they reach their destination anatomy and physiology. The first of the three operations leaves an unstable physiology but is necessary because the lungs are not yet mature enough for the physiology of the second operation. The laboratory work focuses on the possibility of using temporary mechanical support as a means to eliminate the first operation.

Van Arsdell and his team are hopeful that outcomes for children with single ventricles can be improved through the fruition of this research. Presently, proof of concept work, for this mechanical assist approach, is being done in neonates and infants undergoing single ventricle surgery. Additionally, a small animal model is being studied to see if there is a useful way to accelerate lung maturation. Sandra Merklinger BScN, PhD, works directly with him on this single ventricle research endeavor.

Another interest is the development of a detailed event bases database for program management. The concept for this is to track events that are determined to be significant in the course of a patients’ hospitalization. As the database grows it will be a useful tool to manage improvements in practice and for determining effectiveness of interventions. It may ultimately prove to be a useful tool for transference and measurement of best practices. The database concept is currently being beta tested.

He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons Canada, a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery, a diplomat of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and holds an American Board of Surgery Critical Care Certificate. His medical and postgraduate primary degrees were obtained at Loma Linda University in California.


Co-author and author of over 100 peer reviewed publications.

The recipient of 3 active Heart and Stroke grants. Formerly the recipient of a CIHR new investigator award.