Fetal Cardiology and Heart Defect Treatment

The Perinatal Cardiology Program is a unique branch of Children’s Hospital's Heart Institute.

It consists of:

  • Neonatal cardiology
  • Fetal cardiology
  • Maternal cardiology

We provide care mainly at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.

What is Neonatal Cardiology?

Neonatal cardiology is the assessment and management of full-term and premature newborns with heart defects.

The neonatal heart program at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Magee diagnoses and treats:

  • Congenital heart disease (CHD).
  • Heart function in very sick newborns.

Neonatal cardiology requires close team work between pediatric cardiologists and neonatologists in both critical care and research.

What is Fetal Cardiology?

Fetal cardiology involves checking the fetus for CHD. It helps doctors manage heart function in babies that may have a risk for problems even though the heart's structure is normal.

The fetal cardiology program at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Magee-Womens Hospital is one of the busiest in the world.

We perform about 1,200 fetal echocardiograms each year. Since the start of the program in 1989, thousands of pregnant women have had fetal cardiac exams.

Through the program, we can diagnose major fetal heart problems as early as 16 weeks' gestation. And, new techniques are now in progress that will help us make a precise diagnosis even earlier.

The fetal cardiology team works daily with staff from:

  • Reproductive genetics
  • High-risk obstetrics
  • Ultrasound
  • Neonatology

On a monthly basis, the team meets with doctors from:

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Urology

What is Maternal Cardiology?

Maternal cardiology involves treating heart defects during pregnancy.

To date, our maternal cardiology program has treated more than 200 pregnant women, many of whom have CHD.

We manage most women jointly with experts in high-risk pregnancy at Magee-Womens Hospital.

During labor and birth, you'll be in the Perinatal Special Care Unit at Magee where we can watch you closely.

Contact us for fetal heart care

For appointments and consults with the Fetal and Perinatal Cardiology Program, call 412-641-4107.