Renowned Brazilian researcher Dr. Rodrigo Ruano, MD, PhD, joins Texas Children's Hospital Fetal Center as congenital diaphragmatic hernia specialist


Oct. 4, 2012 - (Houston) - Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) proudly announce the arrival of Professor Rodrigo Ruano, a world-renowned expert in the diagnosis and treatment of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), as the newest addition to the Fetal Center at the Pavilion for Women. Texas Children's Fetal Center is one of the leading fetal medicine centers in the world. Dr. Ruano joins a team of specialized nurses and doctors who treat fetal anomalies through a full range of fetal interventions and prenatal surgical options including CDH.

A native Brazilian, Dr. Ruano earned his medical degree and completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of S_o Paulo in S_o Paulo, Brazil. He completed a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship at Universite de Paris V, France. Dr. Ruano has earned over a dozen medical honors both nationally and internationally, published over 80 papers in peer review journals and presented over 100 abstracts all over the world.

Dr. Ruano has dedicated much of his accomplished 10-year career to CDH research. CDH was the subject of his PhD that was presented at the University of S_o Paulo in 2005, as well as his thesis to obtain the title of full professor at the same institution in 2011. His first thesis dealt with the prenatal prediction of neonatal outcome, and his second thesis expanded on the effectiveness of fetal tracheal occlusion.

"With his extensive background in fetal and maternal medicine and the management of fetuses with CDH, Dr. Ruano is an invaluable addition to the Fetal Center, the Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine and to patients in Texas and in the USA," said Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, co-director of the Fetal Center at Texas Children's Hospital.

In addition to his new position at Texas Children's Fetal Center, Dr. Ruano also serves as a full professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine and as a full professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de S_o Paulo.

CDH is a fetal anomaly that occurs when the diaphragm fails to form properly, allowing the contents of the fetal abdomen to travel up into the chest and impair lung development. CDH occurs in as many as one in 2,500 births and in the most severe cases can result in morbidity and mortality at birth. Texas Children's Fetal Center recently completed the only two documented cases in the southwestern United States where endoscopic tracheal occlusion has been used to care for fetuses with severe CDH in-utero. Both babies have done very well and are now home with their families.

"I am honored to join the distinguished group of physicians, nurses and staff at Texas Children's Hospital," Dr. Ruano said. "I am particularly proud to be joining the team at the Fetal Center, where we hope to make great strides in the fight against CDH and other fetal anomalies."

Dr. Ruano is the principal investigator of a two-year study about fetal pulmonary blood flow in the prediction of neonatal outcomes for CDH. When completed, the study, now in its second year, will help advance the precision with which CDH can be treated in-utero by better understanding the effects that blood flow has on the diaphragm.

In addition to his work with CDH, Dr. Ruano is a world-renowned expert in the study of fetal cystoscopy for severe lower urinary tract obstruction syndrome. He intends to intitate a fetal cystoscopic program at Texas Children's Hospital, including animal and clinical research. Dr. Ruano, jointly with Dr. Jose Luis Peiro, co-director of the Fetal Center at Vall del Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, and Dr. Belfort, M.D., Ph.D, obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine, developed a new fetoscopic procedure to treat fetal spina bifida using a sheep model in Barcelona with the intention of developing new research at Texas Children's Hospital. Dr. Ruano is an expert in fetoscopic laser therapy for severe twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in Brazil and is honored to join Dr. Belfort's team.

Texas Children's Maternal and Fetal Center is located on the Pavilion's fourth floor and is one of only a handful of facilities in the world to offer a full spectrum of maternal and fetal care. Comprehensive services include management of any complex pregnancy, genetic counseling and the full range of fetal diagnostic procedures. The Fetal Center also provides highly specialized fetal surgeries for a number of congenital malformations. These include in-utero surgery for complex fetal heart anomalies, twin-twin transfusion syndrome, CDH and lower urinary tract obstruction (LUTO). The Fetal Center also does open surgery for fetal open neural tube ("spina bifida"), fetal lung abnormalities and other congenital problems, most of which if left untreated result in fetal or neonatal death. Texas Children's is among the nation's leaders in providing high-risk maternal care and the diagnosis and treatment of abnormalities in unborn and newborn infants.

For more information, please visit women.texaschildrens.org/fetalcenter/.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.