• Pediatric Tests for Congenital Heart Disease


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    Dr. Dennis W. Kim explains the importance of heart catheterization and other tests in the treatment of congenital heart disease.

    If your doctor suspects your child may have been born with a heart defect or have acquired heart disease, he or she may refer your child to a pediatric cardiologist.

    The pediatric cardiologist may suggest tests to diagnose or rule out congenital (present at birth) or acquired heart disease. In some cases, these tests will be performed by a pediatric interventional cardiologist – a cardiologist with additional training in diagnosing and treating conditions through the use of thin, flexible tubes called catheters that are guided through the body’s arteries and veins. Interventional cardiology procedures are less invasive than surgery, requiring only a small puncture site in the skin.

    Common tests that are used in diagnosing heart disease in children are listed below. These same tests are used for adult patients who may have undiagnosed congenital heart disease and for adults who acquire heart disease later in life.