If your child has a heart problem, the sooner we can find out what’s going on and start treatment (if needed), the better. Nemours’ advanced pediatric cardiac diagnostic tests are backed by our wealth of pediatric cardiology expertise. From EKGs to exercise tests, diagnostic cardiac catheterizations to echocardiography (echos), our pediatric heart tests can help us pinpoint and address pediatric heart conditions in kids of all ages.
Whether your baby is in utero (still in the womb) or you have an infant, growing child or teen, our team of pediatric cardiac experts provide a variety of ways to see what’s going on with your child’s heart and blood vessels. With the help of our pediatric heart specialists, you can get expert evaluation and treatment of conditions and symptoms, from arrhythmias to chest pain, fainting to congenital heart defects.
Like you, we want to get to the bottom of your child’s heart problem as soon as possible so we can start figuring out how to fix it, if necessary.
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Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
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Our experienced, caring, board-certified pediatric cardiologists from the Nemours Cardiac Center at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., come to Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Philadelphia to provide convenient pediatric cardiac services to babies, kids, teens and expectant mothers. It’s our way of extending our renowned pediatric cardiology care to you — where and when you need it.
Types of Diagnostic Tests & What to Expect
Here, you’ll get expert pediatric cardiology evaluation and follow-up — for everything from arrhythmias to chest pain, fainting to congenital heart defects.
Available Pediatric Cardiology Tests
Standard pediatric cardiac testing is offered right on-site at our office:
- Electrocardiogram (also called an “EKG” or “ECG”): This test measures the heart’s electrical activity and is completely painless. A series of electrodes (small metal tabs) are simply fixed to your child’s skin in a few locations with tiny sticky papers. Then the information is transferred to a computer, where it’s stored and printed as a graph.
- Holter monitor: This is an EKG that’s performed over a long period of time, usually 24 hours or more. Electrodes are connected to the chest and the wires are attached to a portable EKG recorder. Your child will be encouraged to continue normal daily activities, but must be careful to not get the electrodes wet (that means no swimming, showering or activities that cause a lot of sweating). There are two kinds of Holter monitoring: continuous recording (when the EKG is on throughout the entire monitoring period) and event monitoring (when data is recorded only when your child feels symptoms and then turns the Holter monitor on).
- Echocardiography (or “echo,” for short): This is a specialized form of ultrasound that builds a detailed picture of your child’s heart (an “echocardiogram”) using sound waves.
Additional Pediatric Heart Tests
Children who need further testing and/or treatment may be referred to either the Nemours Cardiac Center at duPont Hospital for Children (AIDHC) in Wilmington, Del., or another recommended health care provider nearby.
When you come to duPont Hospital for Children, you know you’ll get the very best in heart care for kids. Our heart care at duPont Hospital for Children has been ranked among the nation’s best in pediatric cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.
Get an Early Start: Fetal Cardiac Testing
About two-thirds of children with critical heart disease are diagnosed while still developing (before birth) or soon after. Thanks to our highly skilled team and advanced technology, most children — even newborns only hours old – who are born with a heart condition can be treated right away.
If you’re pregnant your family obstetrician and/or perinatologist (a doctor who specializes in high-risk pregnancies) suspect your baby may have a heart condition, we’ll work together to see what’s going on inside your baby’s tiny ticker. As early as the 18th week of the pregnancy, we can perform fetal echocardiography (fetal “echo”) — an in-depth cardiac ultrasound study that allows us to view the structure, function, and rhythm of a baby’s heart while still in the womb.
In cooperation with the Nemours Partners for Perinatal Management Program, we’ll help you understand your baby’s condition, coordinate consultations with one of our pediatric cardiologists, and plan for any necessary treatment at or soon after the birth.