The Division of Cardiology provides comprehensive consultative, diagnostic and therapeutic services for patients with illnesses that affect the heart and circulatory system. This includes children with congenital or acquired heart disease including arrhythmias, cardiac rhythm disturbances and heart murmurs. The MCH Cardiology department provides outpatient (ambulatory) clinics for new consultations and follow-up for over 4,000 children with heart disease annually.
The department also provides inpatient and follow up to hospitalized children with heart disease before cardiac intervention (surgery or catheterization). We are involved with many multidisciplinary care teams within the hospital dealing with complex patient cases.
Our team performs diagnostic tests such as electrocardiogram (ECG), cardiac echocardiography (including fetal cardiac echocardiography), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.
The MCH’s skilled team of specialists performs invasive and non-invasive electrophysiology, cardiac interventions and heart catheterizations. A heart catheterization may be performed to obtain essential information about your child’s heart, which our cardiac team uses to formulate a clinical plan in conjunction with other diagnostic tests (clinical exam, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, etc.)
Cardiac catheterization procedures, including therapeutic interventional catheterization techniques, are performed to eliminate or delay the need for more invasive procedures, such as open-heart surgery. These lifesaving treatments include:
- Dilatation (opening) of blocked heart valves and narrowed or blocked vessels using a balloon
- Implantation of wire devices called stents, to treat vascular obstructions
- Embolization (closing) of abnormal blood vessels and connections in the heart
- Occlusion (closing) of holes (septal defects) in the heart
- Obtaining biopsies (sampling of heart muscle)
- Elimination (by ablation) of aberrant electric circuits that cause cardiac rhythm disturbances
For a basic understanding of the cardiac catheterization procedures and answers to some common questions asked by parents, follow this link: cardiac catheterization.