What is Transesophageal Echocardiography?

Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) is a technique that uses a small ultrasound probe placed into a childs esophagus to closely evaluate the heart and blood vessels within the chest. Echocardiography is a procedure used to assess the heart’s function and structures through the use of sound waves. A transducer (similar to a microphone) sends out ultrasonicContinue Reading

First-degree Fetal Heart Block may be reversible

There is an increased risk of fetal heart problems when mothers carry particular antibodies associated with rheumatic diseases, according to an abstract presented by Yale School of Medicine researchers at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Conference February 9 in San Francisco. Congenital heart block (CHB) is present at or before birth and impairs the heart’sContinue Reading

Insulin and Glucose Metabolism in Pediatric Heart Failure

Thanks to progress in treatments and surgical techniques, about 30,000 children born with heart defects now reach adulthood every year in the United States. As a result, the number of adults who live with congenital heart disease has exceeded one million. And, of these, nearly 100,000 are living with severe heart defects. This has raisedContinue Reading

A Fast Magnetic Fix for Sepsis?

Sepsis, an infection of the blood, can quickly overwhelm the body’s defenses and is responsible for more than 200,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Premature newborns and people with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable. Since most existing treatments are ineffective, researchers in the Vascular Biology Program at Children’s Hospital Boston have comeContinue Reading

NEW – Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Replacement

A breakthrough new procedure may improve quality of life for children and adults with a common type of congenital heart defect that interferes with the body’s ability to oxygenate blood through the lungs. The minimally invasive procedure, which involves the implantation of the first ever catheter based pulmonary valve replacement, is currently performed by interventionalContinue Reading

Cyanotic CHDs May Sometimes Cause A Brain Abscess

A brain abscess, also known as a cerebral abscess or CNS abscess, is an abscess within the brain tissue caused by inflammation and collection of immune cells and infected material originating from local or remote infection sources. A brain abscess is a rare, life-threatening infection of the brain. Local sources may include ear infections, aContinue Reading

Medicaid Billed for Hospitalized CHD Babies

State Medicaid agencies were billed by hospitals more than $683 million in 2003 for treating children born with heart defects, according to the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. This sum represents roughly half the $1.4 billion charged for all hospital patients treated for disorders resulting from congenital heart defects. There were over 38,000Continue Reading

Some Types of Cardiac Catheterizations

The Catheterization Lab is used for a variety of heart tests and to make corrections to the heart. Many defects that required open heart surgery in the past can now be corrected in the cath lab. Because cath procedures are less invasive and not as hard on the body, your child will recover quickly andContinue Reading

Overview of Pacemakers

What is a permanent pacemaker? A permanent pacemaker, a small device that is implanted under the skin (most often in the shoulder area just under the collarbone), sends electrical signals to start or regulate a slow heartbeat. A permanent pacemaker may be used to make the heartbeat if the heart’s natural pacemaker (the SA node)Continue Reading

Study: Transporting Infants on Prostaglandin E1

In 1981 the Food and Drug Administration approved prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) for use in neonates with congenital heart defects (CHDs). PGE1 dilates the ductus arteriosus, which can provide pulmonary or systemic blood flow to infants with ductal-dependent lesions. As new surgical techniques improve the prognosis for a range of CHD, the early use of PGE1Continue Reading