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David H. Adams is an Americanmarker cardiac surgeon and the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Professor and Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Adams is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of heart valve surgery and mitral valve repair. He is a much sought after speaker in this field, and has an extensive video library of advanced techniques in valve reconstruction. He is a co-author, with Professor Alain F. Carpentier, of the upcoming book Carpentier's Valve Reconstruction, and is a co-creator of 2 mitral valve annuloplasty repair rings (Carpentier-Edwards Physio II Annuloplasty Ring and the Carpentier-McCarthy-Adams IMR ETlogix Ring). He is a senior consultant with patent and royalty agreements with Edwards Lifesciencesmarker, the largest heart valve company in the world. He is also the Co-Director of the annual American College of Cardiology Heart Valve Summit.


Adams is a cardiac surgeon at The Mount Sinai Hospital, specializing in mitral valve repair. As Program Director of the Mitral Valve Repair Center, he has set national benchmarks with 99% repair rates and less than 0.2 mortality rates. He is the author of over 200 publications, holds three patents and serves on the Editorial Boards of several medical journals, including the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

He received his undergraduate and medical education at Duke Universitymarker and served his internship and residency in general and cardiothoracic surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at Harvard Medical Schoolmarker in Bostonmarker. Adams followed that with a fellowship in the Cardiothoracic Unit at Harefield Hospitalmarker in London under Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub. In addition, he took time away from his clinical training to complete a two-year research fellowship under Professor Morris Karnovsky in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical Schoolmarker.

At Brigham and Women's Hospital/Boston Children's Hospitalmarker he was Associate Director of the Cardiothoracic Residency Program and Director of the Hospital Primate Laboratory, then Director of the Cardiothoracic Residency Program. He has been Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center since 2002, following Randall B. Griepp.

Medical miracle

In 2005 New York Magazine featured Adams as having performed "Medical Miracle #7" when, in 2004, he performed mitral valve surgery on actress Liana Pai, who was then six months pregnant with her first child.

Immediate surgery was required to address Pai's aggressive bacterial infection. A conventional surgical procedure arresting the heart during the operation, using a heart-and-lung machine, and following up with a regime of anti-clotting drugs would have terminated the actress's pregnancy. With an incision across Pai's breast bone, Dr. Adams drained blood from her heart into a reservoir where it could be oxygenated before being returned to the aorta. In the meantime, he replaced two valves, both too badly damaged to attempt reconstruction with time limited by lack of a heart-and-lung machine, with compatible organic tissue thereby eliminating the need for pregnancy-prohibiting anti-clotting drugs post-surgery.

“I was glad to be alive, of course, but until my baby was born, I wouldn’t believe everything was okay.” Pai would get her satisfaction ten weeks later. "Ima came out perfect and healthy. She’s healthy, headstrong, independent. Adams saved two lives at once."

Awards and honors

  • Featured in New York Magazine’s list of Best Doctors in 2002 - 2009 and as one of the "Top 100 Minimally Invasive Surgeons" in 2006.

  • 2001 Best Oral Presentation, International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

  • 1986 Paul Dudley White Fellow, American Heart Association

  • 1986 Research Fellowship Award, American Heart Association

  • 1981 International College of Surgeons Scholarship

Partial publications list

Patents and inventions

  • Carpentier A, McCarthy P, Adams DH. Carpentier-McCarthy-Adams IMR ETlogix Annuloplasty Ring. Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, Irvine, CA 2004.

  • Chen RH, Adams DH. Fresh, cryopreserved, or minimally fixed cardiac valvular xenografts. Patent filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office October 16, 2000.

  • Adams DH. Cryopreserved homografts having natural tissue sewing rings. Patent filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office January 27, 1999.

Areas of research

Adams' major research interests include:

  • Investigation of Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation

  • Outcomes Related to Mitral Valve Repair

  • Novel Mitral Valve Repair Strategies

Past research honors include the Alton Ochsner Research Scholarship from the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and the Paul Dudley White Research Fellowship from the American Heart Association.


  1. Mitral Valve Repair Center retrieved April 30, 2008
  2. Curriculum Vitae retrieved April 30, 2008

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