Max Mitchell, MD
Professor, Surgery-Cardiothoracic

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Medical School:
  • MD, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (1988)
Undergraduate School:
  • BSc, University of Denver (CO) (1984)
  • University of Colorado (1989)
  • University of Colorado, Surgery (1995)
  • University of Colorado, Thoracic and Cardiac (1998)
  • University of Colorado (Children's Hospital Colorado) Program, Thoracic and Cardiac (1997)
  • The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia (1999)
Languages: English
Department: Surgery-Cardiothoracic

Professional Titles

  • Director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program
  • Co-Director, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Program

Recognition & Awards

  • Top Doctor in Denver, 5280 Magazine (2012)
    Voted a 5280 best doctor by my peers in response to the question, "Which physician would you trust to treat you and your family?"
  • American's Top Doctors, Castle Connelly (2009)
  • Listed in the "Guide to America's Top Surgeons", Consumer's Research Council of America (2009)
  • Health Policy Scholarship Recipient, American College of Surgeons and Society of Thoracic Surgeons (2007)
  • Top Doctors List (Thoracic Surgery), Castle Connolly (2007)

Research Interests

My research focuses on myocardial preservation and endothelial cell function. I am currently conducting clinical projects studying outcomes following a variety of congenital cardiac surgical conditions. In addition, I have ongoing studies examining biologic differences between normal and pathologic heart valves in pediatric patients.


  • Professor (2009)
    School of Medicine, Surgery
  • Assistant Professor (1998)
    School of Medicine, Surgery
  • Associate Professor (2002)
    School of Medicine, Surgery
  • Instructor (1995)
    School of Medicine, Surgery


  • Schäfer M, Frank BS, Jacobsen R, Rausch CM, Mitchell MB, Jaggers J, Stone ML, Morgan GJ, Browne LP, Barker AJ, Hunter KS, Ivy DD, Younoszai A, Di Maria MV. Patients with Fontan circulation have abnormal aortic wave propagation patterns: A wave intensity analysis study. Int J Cardiol. 2021 Jan 1;322:158-167. PubMed PMID: 32853667
  • Stone ML, Schäfer M, von Alvensleben JC, Browne LP, Di Maria M, Campbell DN, Jaggers J, Mitchell MB. Increased Aortic Stiffness and Left Ventricular Dysfunction Exist After Truncus Arteriosus Repair. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Dec 8. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 33307069
  • Venardos N, Browne LP, Fujiwara T, Mitchell MB. Type B Aortic Dissection Complicating Stage 1 Norwood Procedure. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2020 Nov;11(6):805-807. PubMed PMID: 33164691
  • Frank BS, Khailova L, Silveira L, Mitchell MB, Morgan GJ, Hsieh EWY, DiMaria MV, Twite M, Klawitter J, Davidson JA. Proteomic profiling identifies key differences between inter-stage infants with single ventricle heart disease and healthy controls. Transl Res. 2020 Oct 9. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 33045409
  • Rajab TK, Mitchell MB. Native Aortic Root Thrombosis after Norwood Palliation for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32987016
  • Schäfer M, Stone ML, Jaggers J, Browne LP, Mitchell MB. Commentary: In vortices veritas-quantitative approach. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 Jun 27. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32768303
  • Schäfer M, Ivy DD, Barker AJ, Mitchell MB. Reply to Commentary: Can't flow down: More 4-dimensional flow magnetic resonance imaging studies are needed in congenital heart disease. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 Oct;160(4):1019-1020. PubMed PMID: 32739168
  • Schäfer M, Bjornstad P, Frank BS, Baumgartner A, Truong U, Enge D, von Alvensleben JC, Mitchell MB, Ivy DD, Barker AJ, Reusch JEB, Nadeau KJ. Frequency of Reduced Left Ventricular Contractile Efficiency and Discoordinated Myocardial Relaxation in Patients Aged 16 to 21 Years With Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (from the Emerald Study). Am J Cardiol. 2020 Aug 1;128:45-53. PubMed PMID: 32650923
  • Schäfer M, Younoszai A, Truong U, Browne LP, Mitchell MB, Jaggers J, Campbell DN, Hunter KS, Ivy DD, Di Maria MV. Influence of aortic stiffness on ventricular function in patients with Fontan circulation. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019 Feb;157(2):699-707. PubMed PMID: 30396734
  • Frank BS, Urban TT, Lewis K, Tong S, Cassidy C, Mitchell MB, Nichols CS, Davidson JA. Circulating biomarkers of left ventricular hypertrophy in pediatric coarctation of the aorta. Congenit Heart Dis. 2019 Jan 16. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30650250
  • Frank B, Schäfer M, Douwes JM, Ivy DD, Abman SH, Davidson JA, Burzlaff S, Mitchell MB, Morgan GJ, Browne L, Barker AJ, Truong U, Von Alvensleben JC. Novel Measures of Left Ventricular Electromechanical Discoordination Predict Clinical Outcomes in Children with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2019 Dec 20. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31858817
  • Nakano SJ, Walker JS, Walker LA, Li X, Du Y, Miyamoto SD, Sucharov CC, Garcia AM, Mitchell MB, Ambardekar AV, Stauffer BL. Increased myocyte calcium sensitivity in end-stage pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2019 Dec 1;317(6):H1221-H1230. PubMed PMID: 31625780
  • Chatfield KC, Sparagna GC, Chau S, Phillips EK, Ambardekar AV, Aftab M, Mitchell MB, Sucharov CC, Miyamoto SD, Stauffer BL. Elamipretide Improves Mitochondrial Function in the Failing Human Heart. JACC Basic Transl Sci. 2019 Apr;4(2):147-157. PubMed PMID: 31061916
  • McLennan D, Schäfer M, Mitchell MB, Morgan GJ, Ivy D, Barker AJ, Jacobsen R. Usefulness of 4D-Flow MRI in Mapping Flow Distribution Through Failing Fontan Circulation Prior to Cardiac Intervention. Pediatr Cardiol. 2019 Jun;40(5):1093-1096. PubMed PMID: 30982076
  • Schäfer M, Browne LP, von Alvensleben JC, Mitchell MB, Morgan GJ, Ivy DD, Jaggers J. Ventricular interactions and electromechanical dyssynchrony after Ross and Ross-Konno operations. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019 Aug;158(2):509-517. PubMed PMID: 30928217
  • Schäfer M, Ivy DD, Abman SH, Stenmark K, Browne LP, Barker AJ, Mitchell MB, Morgan GJ, Wilson N, Shah A, Kollengode M, Naresh N, Fonseca B, DiMaria M, Buckner JK, Hunter KS, Kheyfets V, Fenster BE, Truong U. Differences in pulmonary arterial flow hemodynamics between children and adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension as assessed by 4D-flow CMR studies. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2019 May 1;316(5):H1091-H1104. PubMed PMID: 30822118
  • Schäfer M, Frank BS, Ivy DD, Wilson N, Morgan GJ, Barker AJ, Browne LP, Mitchell MB, Truong U. Close look at the Potts shunt flow hemodynamics in a patient with severe pulmonary hypertension: 4D-flow MRI evaluation. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2018 Nov 19. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30451346
  • Cassidy C, Mitchell MB, Jone PN. Three-dimensional echocardiographic evaluation of Ebstein's anomaly of the tricuspid valve in a patient with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Cardiol Young. 2018 Jun;28(6):885-887. PubMed PMID: 29679990
  • Schäfer M, Morgan GJ, Mitchell MB, Ross M, Barker AJ, Hunter KS, Fonseca B, DiMaria M, Vargas D, Ivy DD, Wilson N, Browne LP. Impact of different coarctation therapies on aortic stiffness: phase-contrast MRI study. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2018 Sep;34(9):1459-1469. PubMed PMID: 29667078
  • Schäfer M, Browne LP, Truong U, Jaggers JJ, Mitchell MB, Malone L, Morgan G, Chatfield K, McLennan D, Turbendian H, Vargas D, Fonseca B, DiMaria M, Shah A, Ivy MP, Barker AJ, Hunter KS, Wilson N, Ivy DD, Campbell DN. Aortic stiffness in adolescent Turner and Marfan syndrome patients. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2018 Nov 1;54(5):926-932. PubMed PMID: 29684119
  • Schäfer M, Browne LP, Morgan GJ, Barker AJ, Fonseca B, Ivy DD, Mitchell MB. Reduced proximal aortic compliance and elevated wall shear stress after early repair of tetralogy of Fallot. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2018 Dec;156(6):2239-2249. PubMed PMID: 30449579
  • Zablah JE, Ross M, Wilson N, Fonseca B, Mitchell MB. Kawashima by Fenestrated Hemi-Fontan for Palliation Following Prior Stage I Norwood Operation. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2018 Jul;9(4):451-453. PubMed PMID: 29945505
  • Mitchell MB. Pulmonary valve replacement for congenital heart disease: What valve substitute should we be using?. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2016 Nov;152(5):1230-1232. PubMed PMID: 27637425
  • Reeves JG, Montesa C, Fonseca B, Mitchell MB. Aortic Translocation for Repair of Transposition of the Great Arteries (S,D,L) With Ventricular Septal Defect and Pulmonic Stenosis. Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Jan;101(1):357-9. PubMed PMID: 26694279
  • Burkett DA, Wilson N, Mitchell MB, Younoszai AK. Acute ischaemic heart block in hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Cardiol Young. 2016 Jan;26(1):151-4. PubMed PMID: 25531744
  • Kopelovich JC, Wine TM, Rutter MJ, Mitchell MB, Prager JD. Secondary Reverse Slide Tracheoplasty for Airway Rescue. Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Mar;101(3):1205-7. PubMed PMID: 26897214
  • Siomos AK, Mitchell MB, Fonseca BM. Successful surgical repair of a massive window duct in a 1-month old with aniridia and pulmonary interstitial glycogenosis. Cardiol Young. 2015 Mar;25(3):594-6. PubMed PMID: 24848376
  • Deng XS, Meng X, Zeng Q, Fullerton D, Mitchell M, Jaggers J. Adult aortic valve interstitial cells have greater responses to toll-like receptor 4 stimulation. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Jan;99(1):62-71. PubMed PMID: 25442996
  • Peng E, Campbell DN, Jaggers J, Mitchell MB. Three-Sinus Repair of Elastin Arteriopathy Associated Supravalvar Pulmonary Stenosis With Bilateral Branch Pulmonary Artery Involvement. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Aug;100(2):741-3. PubMed PMID: 26234860
  • Stidham TR, Auerbach SR, Mitchell MB, Buckvold SM. Respiratory Failure in a Pediatric Patient with Biventricular Assist Devices: Identification and Novel Management of Inflow Cannula Obstruction. ASAIO J. 2015 Jul-Aug;61(4):e26-8. PubMed PMID: 26039554
  • Mauchley DC, Mitchell MB. Transplantation in the Fontan patient. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg Pediatr Card Surg Annu. 2015;18(1):7-16. PubMed PMID: 25939837
  • Mitchell MB. Pulmonary venous obstruction in the single ventricle patient: Possible causes, possible solutions. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015 May;149(5):1245-6. PubMed PMID: 25680748
  • Hawkins SM, Taylor AL, Sillau SH, Mitchell MB, Rausch CM. Restrictive lung function in pediatric patients with structural congenital heart disease. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2013 Sep 20. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24060364
  • Almond CS, Morales DL, Blackstone EH, Turrentine MW, Imamura M, Massicotte MP, Jordan LC, Devaney EJ, Ravishankar C, Kanter KR, Holman W, Kroslowitz R, Tjossem C, Thuita L, Cohen GA, Buchholz H, St Louis JD, Nguyen K, Niebler RA, Walters HL 3rd, Reemtsen B, Wearden PD, Reinhartz O, Guleserian KJ, Mitchell MB, Bleiweis MS, Canter CE, Humpl T. Berlin Heart EXCOR pediatric ventricular assist device for bridge to heart transplantation in US children. Circulation. 2013 Apr 23;127(16):1702-11. PubMed PMID: 23538380
  • Erwin N, Zuk J, Kaufman J, Pan Z, Carpenter E, Mitchell MB, da Cruz EM. Extended survival and re-hospitalisation among paediatric patients requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for primary cardiac dysfunction. Cardiol Young. 2013;23(2):258-64. PubMed PMID: 22694830
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Professional Memberships

  • American College of Surgeons (ACS), Fellow
  • Western Thoracic Surgical Association, Member
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Member
  • European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery, Member
  • International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, Member
  • Rocky Mountain Thoracic and Cardiac Surgical Society, Member
  • Denver Academy of Surgery, Member
  • Congenital Heart Surgeons Society, Member
  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Member

Practice Locations

Children's Hospital Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
13123 East 16th Ave
Aurora, CO 80045

Children's Hospital Colorado - Colorado Springs
4090 Briargate Pkwy
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Hospital Affiliation
  • Children's Hospital Colorado
  • University of Colorado Hospital

Specialty Information

  • Surgery, Board Certification (1996, 2004)
  • Thoracic and Cardiac, Board Certification (1999, 2007)
  • Subspecialty Certification in Congenital Heart Surgery, Board Certification (2009)
Conditions & Treatments
  • Heart and Circulation - Congenital Heart Disease
  • Heart and Circulation - Heart Valve Diseases
  • Surgery - Adult Cardiac Surgery
  • Surgery - Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Surgery - Heart Transplant Surgery
  • Surgery - Open Heart Surgery
  • Surgery - Transplant Surgery
  • Surgery - Cardiothoracic - Congenital Cardiac Surgery
  • Heart and Circulation - Adult Congenital Heart Disease
  • Heart and Circulation
  • Surgery
Clinical Interests
I am interested in neonatal and congenital cardiac surgery, congenital and acquired diseases of the mitral valve, atrioventricular valve repair in children and adults, and pediatric cardiac transplantation.

General Information

Medical Schools:
  • MD, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (1988)
Undergraduate Schools:
  • BSc, University of Denver (CO) (1984)
  • University of Colorado (1989)
Residency Programs:
  • University of Colorado, Surgery (1995)
  • University of Colorado, Thoracic and Cardiac (1998)
  • University of Colorado (Children's Hospital Colorado) Program, Thoracic and Cardiac (1997)
  • The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia (1999)
Download CV
Languages: English
Department: Surgery-Cardiothoracic