Pediatric Specialties — Pediatric Cardiology
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Definitions

 

Congenital heart disease - Congenital means "present at birth." A congenital heart defect can involve any of many types of malformations of the heart or the large blood vessels near the heart. Cardiac malformations are the most common major birth defect in babies, affecting about 8 in 1,000 newborns. Less severe congenital heart defects may not be noticeable at birth but are discovered as a child is growing up, or in adulthood. Congenital heart defects with varying degrees of severity. Some have no impact on a child's health. Others may require treatment or monitoring for a limited time others require extended monitoring and care into adulthood.

Acquired heart disease - In children, the most common acquired heart diseases (those not present at birth) include mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome (Kawasaki's), hypertension, abnormal heart rhythms, heart injury due in infections or viruses, or endocarditis (inflammation of the heart lining.)

Ambulatory EKG - Records the electrical activity of the heart during daily activities with a small portable device.

Cardiac catheterization - When used diagnostically, it examines the inside of the heart's blood vessels using special X-rays called angiograms. Contrast visible by X-ray is injected into blood vessels using a thin hollow tube called a catheter. Interventional catheterization involves using the catheter to reach the heart with microtools that can be used to close holes, occlude vessels or clear obstructions.

Echocardiography - A handheld device is placed on the chest and uses inaudible soundwaves (ultrasound) to create images of the heart and blood vessels.

Transesophageal Echocardiography - Uses a probe passed with sedation into the esophagus to better image the heart.

3-dimensional echocardiography - Additional transducers (soundwave producers) and computer processing create detailed, 3-D moving images of the heart.

MRI – magnetic resonance imaging used to create 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional images of the heart and vessels.

CT – uses short bursts of X-rays to create images of the heart and vessels. Our high speed multislice scanners keep radiation dose to a minimum.

Exercise or stress testing - A monitor with electrodes is placed on the skin to record the heart's activity during exercise. 

Fetal echocardiography - Like echocardiography, this procedure involves ultrasound but performed on a pregnant woman to visualize the fetuses' heart structure. Requiring specialized training and skill, fetal echo has a high rate of identifying heart defects, which can be lifesaving in planning appropriately for labor, delivery and therapies.

Hyperlipidemia - A high level of lipids (fats) in the bloodstream, which increases the risk of coronary artery disease.

Non-invasive tests - These don't involve inserting needles, instruments or fluids into the body.

Minimally invasive procedures - These may include a needle prick for a blood test or shot, insertion of a tube, device or scope.

Invasive procedures - These involve surgery.