Echocardiography, or heart ultrasound, is a safe and noninvasive test to visualize anatomy
An echocardiogram can visualize chambers, valves, major vessels that enter (veins) and exit (arteries) the heart, blood flow and function of the heart.
There are different types of echocardiography, including, fetal, transthoracic, and trans-esophageal echocardiograms. Fetal and transthoracic echocardiography can be usually performed in the office. However, trans-esophageal echocardiography is typically performed in the hospital under sedation/anesthesia.
Fetal echocardiography, or fetal heart ultrasound, is performed to assess cardiac anatomy and
function in fetuses with increased risk for heart abnormalities. Fetal echocardiography can
provide high-quality images of your child’s heart to determine presence of congenital heart
diseases. Fetal arrhythmias, a major cause of fetal morbidity and mortality, can also be
evaluated by fetal echocardiography.
Throughout the pregnancy, we will work as a multi- disciplinary team with obstetricians, maternal fetal medicine specialists, family doctors and/or midwives to ensure the best outcome for your baby. Early fetal detection allows for prenatal planning, education, and expedient management after delivery.
Congenital Heart Disease Evaluation
Many people are born with a cardiac abnormality, or congenital heart disease. There are several types of congenital heart disease, and the management and treatment can differ significantly depending on the individual. Children and adults with know heart diseases deserve specialized, meticulous and multi-disciplinary care. An experienced pediatric cardiologist provides evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and management of a wide variety of heart conditions. We will coordinate care plans with you and other medical providers involved in your child’s health.
Heart murmurs are sounds generated by blood flow. Murmurs are very common in babies and young children, and can often be benign or “innocent”. However, if your pediatrician has any concerns about a murmur, a referral to a pediatric cardiologist should be made for an evaluation to rule out congenital heart diseases. Pediatric cardiologists can provide expert diagnosis of heart murmurs, and formulate appropriate, personalized treatment plans when necessary.
Chest Pain Evaluation
Chest pain in a very common symptom that children and adults experience. Chest pain can be present in children with a normal heart. Unfortunately, chest pain can also be a symptom in those with congenital heart disease or with there is a rhythm problem - in these cases, chest pain can be benign or can be very dangerous.
Syncope, or fainting, is a common symptom in healthy children, teenagers, and adults. The majority of patients with syncope do not have cardiac causes, however in a small select number of people syncope can be a sign or symptom that is secondary to an abnormal heart condition.
Electrocardiogram (ECG) and Cardiac Monitor
ECGs evaluate the heart's electrical activity throughout the cardiac cycle. ECGs provide some basic information about the heart’s structure. Heart rhythm monitors, or cardiac monitors, are compact portable devices that are worn to monitor the heart's electrical activity for a prolonged period of time. These monitors screen for potentially abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmias. Most of these monitors are wireless, which minimize hindrance and allow for more mobility of everyday activities.
Palpitations are a common symptom in healthy patients. Many patients describe palpitations as ‘heart racing’ or ‘skipped beats.’ The majority of patients with palpitations do not have significant cardiac diseases. Cardiac causes of palpitations in patients can be either benign or worrisome. Sometimes, these serious causes can result in sudden death. In general, palpitations with cardiac causes are due to underlying electrical disturbances or arrhythmia.
Athlete Screen Evaluation
The purpose of the athlete screening program is motivated by occurrences of sudden death, which has an incidence ranging from 1/65,000 to 1/200,000. There are many causes of sudden death in young people with cardiac causes accounting for more than 50%. Athletes are vulnerable to sudden cardiac death because there is increased oxygen demand to the heart muscle and increased level of adrenaline during exercise, which can potentially unmask dormant heart diseases.
Cardiac MRI/Cardiac CTA
Cardiac MRI and Cardiac CT are different types of advanced imaging modalities that are used to supplement echocardiography. They are typically used to provide high-quality images of the heart, arteries and veins. The goal of cardiac MRI / CT is to provide the best understanding of the cardiac physiology and anatomy, which translates into the best possible outcome for you or your child. For both modalities, sedation is sometimes required for young children.
For those that have a pacemaker, routine evaluation is needed. These evaluations require routine transtelephonic transmissions in addition to in-person pacer generator evaluations typically every 6 months or so. If you or your child has a pacemaker, please let us know when you schedule so we can get all interrogations performed during your visit.