What is a pediatric cardiologist?
If your pediatrician has any questions about your child’s heart, he or she can refer him to a pediatric cardiologist. Pediatric cardiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating heart problems in children. In children requiring cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiologists work with pediatric cardiac surgeons to determine the best treatments and interventions.
Many heart conditions affect children. Some are structural differences from where they were born. Others have an electrical system that controls the heartbeat. Pediatric cardiologists are specially trained to diagnose and manage these problems. If you are concerned about your child’s heart, talk to your pediatrician if you need a referral to a pediatric cardiologist.
Education and training
Those who wish to become pediatric cardiologists must have a four-year undergraduate degree. Then they should also have:
- Faculty of Medicine four years
- Three years of pediatric residency
- Three or more years of training in the subspecialty of pediatric cardiology
Pediatric cardiologists may focus on specialized skills such as cardiac catheterization, heart transplantation, or child care in the cardiac ICU during the last year or two of their training.
Conditions treated by a pediatric cardiologist
- The cardiovascular collapse in childhood
- Heart failure in infants and children
- Cyanosis in newborns and beyond (where the skin is blue due to lung, lung, or circulatory problems)
- Children with a heart murmur
- Children and adolescents may experience chest pain, palpitations, or fainting.
- Patients with congenital heart disease
- Cardiovascular abnormalities in neonatal intensive care
- Fetal heart abnormalities
- Pediatric heart transplant
- Evaluate a child before heart surgery
- Evaluation of Children with Heart Disease Undergoing Heart Surgery
- Management of children with heart problems
- Great arterial transfer
Types of treatment
- “Congenital heart disease” (birth defects in children), such as perforations between the chambers of the heart, valve problems, and abnormal blood vessels.
- “Arrhythmia” or abnormal heart rhythms caused by the electrical system that controls the heartbeat.
Some pediatric cardiologists also treat “pulmonary hypertension” (pulmonary hypertension), while in some parts of the country pulmonary hypertension is treated by pediatric pulmonologists.
Some pediatric cardiologists can treat “systemic hypertension” (hypertension), but in some parts of the country, systemic hypertension is treated by pediatric nephrologists.
What conditions and diseases does a pediatric cardiologist treat?
The pediatric cardiologist treats conditions and diseases that include:
- Arrhythmia, abnormal heart rhythm (the heart beats too fast, too slow, or irregular)
- Bacterial endocarditis, a type of heart infection.
- Cardiomyopathy, weakening or dilation of the heart muscle.
- Congenital heart defects, including patented ductus arteriosus (PAC), atrial septal defect (ASD), and ventricular septal defect (VSD)
- Cardiac syndromes, including genetic syndromes that affect the heart, such as Down syndrome and Marfan syndrome
- Clogged pulmonary and aortic valves with heart valve defects
- Kawasaki disease causes heart problems such as coronary artery aneurysms, leaky heart valves, and fluid retention
- Myocarditis, inflammation of the heart.
- Pulmonary hypertension, high blood pressure in the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs.
- Serious risk factors for cardiovascular conditions, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol
Procedures and interventions
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Advanced imaging – CT / MRI
- Diagnostic and therapeutic catheterization
- Exercise test
- Recording of cardiac events
- Pulmonary radiography
- Balloon atrial septostomy – A small hole is created in the two upper chambers of the heart to increase oxygen saturation
- Pediatric heart transplant
- Ultrasound of the heart