Advancements and Innovation

Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

The mission of the Heart Institute at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is to provide each patient and family with comprehensive heart care and support that is second to none – no matter how challenging a patient’s condition may be. We have been meeting that challenge for more than three decades, earning a reputation as one of the nation’s leading institutions for pediatric cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery.

But it takes more than one or two programs to gain national recognition. The Heart Institute has earned a reputation for excellence in all facets of pediatric heart care. Built on expertise and experience, state-of-the-art resources and a legacy of innovation, the Heart Institute offers the strong foundation necessary to fulfill our commitment to restoring the health of our young patients and improving the quality of their lives through adulthood.

Congenital Heart Disease Information Portal

Family Centered Care

At the Heart Institute we understand the difficulties families face when a child is diagnosed with heart disease. Our approach to comprehensive care recognizes the need to support the physical, social and emotional needs of the entire family. We educate families, keep them up-to-date on their child’s condition, provide straight answers to tough questions, and offer the support they need to help them manage the many challenges that heart disease can present.

Pioneering Advanced Treatment

The Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital is recognized throughout the world as a leader in the advanced treatment of pediatric heart disease because we embrace innovation and cutting-edge technology as a way of providing our patients with state-of-the-art care and a higher quality of life. We work diligently to broaden our understanding of heart disease, develop better therapies, and quickly move advances from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside, where they matter most.

These are just a few of the advances the Heart Institute has achieved:

  • Our Pediatric Heart and Lung Transplantation Program is one of the most experienced and innovative in the world.
  • In 1981, we became the first center to establish a comprehensive solid organ transplant program.
  • The fruits of our heart and lung research include advanced technologies used routinely today, such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which is used to support patients with severe life-threatening respiratory and cardiac problems.
  • Our surgeons are advancing the use of mechanical circulatory support devices, such as the ventricular assist devices (VADs), as bridges to pediatric transplantation or recovery.
  • We opened the region’s first pediatric cardiac intensive care unit in 2003.
  • For more than 20 years, our Fetal Cardiology Program has worked with UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital to evaluate heart function on fetuses at as early as sixteen weeks’ gestation so parents and doctors can determine how to manage any heart condition detected.
  • Our Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is advancing the use of catheters for diagnosing problems and the latest noninvasive technology to treat and even cure congenital heart defects and arrhythmias.
  • Our researchers are investigating the technologies of tomorrow, including the possibility of correcting abnormalities by harnessing the power individual cells.
  • UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh was the first pediatric hospital to fully implement a computerized physician order entry system, making what was already a safe hospital even safer by guarding against medication errors and giving our physicians and nurses easier access to critical patient information.