Cardiac Diagnostic Tests

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Cardiac Imaging and Diagnostic Tests

Early Detection for Faster Treatment

If your child has a heart problem, the sooner we can find out what’s going on, the better. Nemours’ advanced pediatric cardiac imaging and diagnostic tests are backed by our wealth of pediatric cardiology expertise. We offer leading-edge capabilities to find heart problems early, including babies still in the womb — giving children the best chance.

Types of Pediatric Cardiac Imaging and Diagnostic Tests We Offer

The expert teams in our Nemours Cardiac Center locations offer state-of-the-art, noninvasive and minimally invasive cardiac diagnostic tests and cardiac imaging for kids of all ages, including babies still in the womb. Services vary by specialist and location.  

  • cardiovascular computed tomography (CT or CAT Scan) — produces pictures of many layers of the heart in just a few seconds, and with a small amount of contrast agent (or dye), your child’s doctor can get an accurate image of blood vessels attached to the heart and other structures in the chest (such as the lungs and airways) 
  • cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — produces clear, complete pictures of your child’s heart and the blood vessels, plus the lungs, airways and esophagus
  • echocardiography (“echo” for short) including transthoracic, transesophageal and fetal — the most frequently used imaging tool, it and builds a picture of your child’s heart using sound waves and may even be done right at your child’s bedside
  • fetal echocardiography — early detection in our perinatology and fetal medicine centers help us diagnose congenital heart defects and make a treatment plan for when your baby’s born 
  • cardiac catheterization —  used to diagnose or treat cardiac problems like arrhythmia and to perform intravascular echocardiography by inserting a thin plastic, flexible tube (called a “catheter”) into an artery or vein and threading it through the bloodstream into the heart and its large blood vessels
  • ambulatory blood pressure monitor — a monitor that measures your child’s blood pressure during normal activities (in school, on the field, playing with friends, etc.) over 24 hours at preset intervals throughout the day and while sleeping
  • electrocardiogram (EKG) — a completely painless test that measures the heart’s rate and rhythm using a series of 12 electrodes (small sticky tabs) attached to the skin
  • cardiopulmonary exercise assessment — (also called an “exercise test” or a “stress test”) it uses an EKG to record heart rate and rhythm while exercising on a stationary bike or treadmill
  • genetic counseling — to help with diagnosis and family planning because many cardiac conditions are caused, at least in part, by changes in genes that are important for the heart to develop and function 
  • lung perfusion scan — we look at blood flow distribution to the right and left lung
  • tilt-table testing — used to diagnose a cause for fainting, it involves monitoring blood pressure and the heart’s electrical activity with an EKG while your child is lying securely on a table that moves from horizontal to vertical

Why Choose Us for Cardiac Imaging and Diagnostic Tests

World-class heart care requires the experience and compassion to understand your family's journey, and the expertise to identify and manage all types of pediatric heart disease — from mild to the most complex and rare types. Our experienced Nemours team works hard to keep even the youngest babies and children occupied and comfortable so we can take the images quickly and get results the first time, often without sedation or anesthesia. It’s good to know we also have cardiac anesthesiologists and nurses who understand your child’s heart problem to provide safe and effective anesthesia or sedation for these tests only when necessary.

Regional Pediatric Cardiac Imaging and Diagnostic Tests Highlights

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

U.S. News & World Report's 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 select satellite Nemours Children's Health locations.

The Nemours Cardiac Center at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware is ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News and World Report.

Our pediatric cardiologists from the Nemours Cardiac Center also travel to sites throughout the Delaware Valley, so you can continue to get our top-quality pediatric cardiology care at a location that’s convenient for you. We can do evaluations, follow-ups, and some diagnostic cardiology tests at these locations.

We offer comprehensive pediatric cardiac imaging and diagnostic tests in our Nemours Cardiac Center located at Nemours Children’s Hospital (Orlando) and select Nemours Children’s Specialty Care locations.

We offer pediatric cardiac imaging and diagnostic tests at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Pensacola with outpatient and follow-up appointments also available at select Nemours Children’s Specialty Care locations.

Our Nemours Cardiac Center in Pensacola is home to one of the few accredited pediatric transthoracic and fetal echocardiography labs in Florida, as well as the Pediatric Sports Cardiology program for kids-only exercise tolerance testing.

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