1. Children's Hospital Boston: The hospital is conducting 74 cardiac-related studies, among the most in our survey. Among its research accomplishments: the development of innovative tissue engineering techniques to avoid the need for pacemakers and artificial heart valves.
2. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: In addition to performing more than 375 complex cardiac surgeries in-house in 2005, the hospital sent a team of heart specialists to nearby facilities to operate at the bedsides of nearly 100 premature infants with Patent Ductus Arteriosus, a condition in which the vessel that allows blood to bypass the baby's lungs before birth fails to close normally.
3. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta: The facility is a leader in the field of cardiac genetics, conducting research to help explain the development of congenital heart disease and identify genotypes in patients with certain heart conditions. This will enable doctors to predict whether patients are at a greater risk of death or more likely to require a heart transplant, knowledge that will facilitate their care.
4. Texas Children's Hospital, Houston: In 2004 and 2005, its heart surgeons performed 83 extremely risky operations -- and only three patients died, one of the best survival rates of our survey.
5. The Children's Hospital, Denver: The hospital is a leader in pediatric heart transplants, with three-year survival rates around 85% and shorter-than-average patient stays.
Runners-Up: 6. Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian in New York City; 7. University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor; 8. Children's Hospital Wisconsin; 9. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; and 10. Children's Medical Center Dallas