Cardiac Catheterization

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Cardiac Catheterization

Safer “Cath” Care for Kids

Doctor listening to boy's heart with a stethoscope before cardiac catheterization.

At the Nemours Cardiac Center, special heart doctors called “interventional cardiologists” use a procedure called a “cardiac catheterization” to diagnose and, whenever possible, treat heart problems. In a cardiac catheterization (sometimes called a “cath,” for short), the doctor inserts a catheter (a long, thin tube) into a blood vessel. Then the doctor guides it to the heart and the blood vessels around it. And because our “cath labs” were designed and built to deliver cardiac care for kids, our teams work together to deliver safer care in a kid-friendly space. 

Learn More About Cardiac Catheterization

Conditions We Treat

We see a full spectrum of conditions — far too many to list here. The conditions we treat vary depending on the location and providers selected. Don’t see a condition listed? Call us.

  • anomalous coronary artery
  • aortic disease
  • aortic stenosis
  • aortopulmonary (AP) window
  • atrial septal defect (ASD)
  • coarctation of the aorta
  • congenital mitral valve disease
  • congenital sinus of Valsalva aneurysm
  • cor triatriatum
  • dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
  • double outlet right ventricle (DORV)
  • Ebstein's anomaly
  • heart arrhythmias
  • heart failure
  • heterotaxy syndrome
  • hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • interrupted aortic arch
  • levo-transposition of the great arteries
  • partially anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR)
  • patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
  • pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum (PA/IVS)
  • pulmonary stenosis
  • pulmonary valve regurgitation
  • restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM)
  • single ventricle physiology and palliation
  • tetralogy of Fallot
  • transposition of the great arteries
  • tricuspid atresia
  • truncus arteriosus
  • unroofed coronary sinus syndrome
  • vascular ring anomaly
  • ventricular septal defect (VSD)

Services We Offer

Some kids’ heart problems can be treated using cardiac catheterization instead of open-heart surgery. Sometimes children can both at the same time. At Nemours, our surgical and nonsurgical services and teams vary by location and condition. They include: 

  • board-certified cardiac anesthesiologists — to make sure your child is comfortable during the entire procedure
  • cardiac diagnostic testing and kid-friendly imaging — state-of-the-art tests for kids of all ages
  • diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization — diagnostic “caths” are used to find a heart problem, and interventional caths can treat or repair them
  • heart surgery — advanced procedures for congenital (present at birth) heart disease
  • hybrid procedures — a combination of cardiac catheterization and heart surgery done at the same time in a special cardiac suite 

Why Choose Us

Nemours offers a wide range of pediatric cardiology expertise and advanced technology to treat children of all ages with pediatric heart disease. And our family-centered approach to care places you at the center of decisions about your child’s treatment. We’ll make sure you understand what’s happening every step of the way.

Regional Pediatric Cardiology Highlights

Services, programs, facilities and care teams differ at each location. Call for details.

Best Children's Hospital award for Cardiology and Heart Surgery

The Nemours Cardiac Center, Delaware Valley offers comprehensive pediatric cardiology care at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware (Wilmington, Del.) and and outpatient care and follow-ups at select Nemours Children's Health locations.

  • ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the country for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report
  • physicians named Best Doctors in America® , year after year
  • national leaders in pediatric heart care and surgery, with the experience, skills and advanced technology required to provide swift diagnosis and repair
  • excellent outcomes that place us among the top pediatric heart centers in the country
  • high patient and family satisfaction (in annual surveys, 100 percent of our patients said they would recommend the Nemours Cardiac Center)
  • state-of-the-art surgical and catheterization suite (used exclusively for children with heart problems)
  • Magnet status for nursing excellence, the nation’s highest nursing credential
  • fully equipped pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (CICU)
  • one of only a few children’s hospitals nationwide named a Pediatric Heart Failure Institute by the Healthcare Accreditation Colloquium
  • comprehensive care, with everything a child with heart disease could need in one central location, even before your baby is born (fetal diagnosis and coordination of care for after delivery)
  • mechanical circulatory support for children who require “artificial” heart support, including ventricular assist device (VAD) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (or "ECMO")
  • area’s only children’s hospital to offer ECMO as a referral and transport service
  • complete arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) diagnosis and treatment
  • complete cardiac testing, with many tests available at our outpatient offices throughout the Delaware Valley and all at our main location
  • cardiovascular genetic expertise, including a certified genetic counselor who offers counseling and support when a cardiac condition may have a genetic cause
  • expertise in fetal (unborn baby) cardiac problems — working with expectant parents to diagnose fetal congenital heart disease in the womb, helping them prepare, and then providing the necessary care as soon as the baby’s born
  • pioneering pediatric cardiology research, collaborating with researchers locally and nationally
  • convenient care throughout the region — at outpatient practices and collaborating hospitals in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey
  • Ronald McDonald House of Delaware , a safe, affordable home away from home located across the street from the hospital campus for long hospital stays

Learn More About the Nemours Cardiac Center, Delaware Valley

The Nemours Cardiac Center, Florida offers pediatric cardiology care at Nemours Children’s Hospital (Orlando) and outpatient care and follow-ups at select satellite Nemours Children’s Specialty Care locations in the Orlando area.

  • expert heart care for kids, including outpatient cardiology, preventive cardiology, diagnostic testing, fetal diagnosis and coordination of care for after delivery, heart surgery, and anesthesia
  • pediatric network where kids across the state can receive expert Nemours heart care, closer to home
  • many physicians consistently named some of the Best Doctors in America®
  • complete cardiac tests such as electrocardiogram (EKG), Holter monitors (portable EKG) and echocardiography (echo)
  • fetal diagnostic testing for babies still in the womb and medical care as soon as the babies are born
  • mechanical circulatory support for children who require “artificial” heart support, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (or "ECMO") 
  • kids-only cardiopulmonary lab, with VO2 max testing (which measures the maximum amount of oxygen an individual can use during intense, or maximal exercise)
  • experienced pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons to treat nearly all heart defects using the most innovative, up-to-date approaches
  • heart surgery and interventional cardiology for newborns with single-ventricle defects like hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) 
  • electrophysiology and arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) diagnosis and treatment, for the tiniest newborns to teens
  • cardiovascular genetic counselors providing in-depth testing and analysis (to help your family understand the effects a heart condition can have on your child, siblings and future generations)
  • Ronald McDonald House at Nemours Children’s Hospital , a safe, affordable home away from home for your family located on the hospital campus, just steps from the main entrance

Learn More About the Nemours Cardiac Center, Florida

Scheduled Specialist Online Visits

Nemours now offers scheduled specialist appointments through live video chat. Ask your doctor if this is an option for your family.

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Research & Clinical Trials

At Nemours, we’re actively researching new approaches for childhood disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

KidsHealth Library

Learn more about your child’s medical condition from the experts at Nemours’ KidsHealth.