Today in the United States, more than one million people are living with congenital heart disease. Eight of every 1,000 infants are born with some type of congenital heart defect, from murmurs to serious disorders that will require cardiac surgical repair.
Thanks to technology like echocardiography, children with congenital heart problems are being diagnosed earlier and interventions are being performed earlier. This results in more survivors of problems that used to take lives and quality of life.
The Echocardiography Laboratory at Wolfson Children's Hospital and the outpatient echocardiography laboratory in the Aetna Building at 841 Prudential Drive, Suite 100, perform more than 6,000 echocardiograms each year. Both laboratories are accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories in three modalities: pediatric transthoracic, pediatric transesophageal and fetal echocardiography. The center was the first in Florida to accomplish this.
Pediatric cardiologists who are experts in echocardiography, along with specially trained sonographers, perform echocardiograms on children's hearts, including the following:
- Standard transthoracic echocardiography
- Transesophageal echocardiography
- Tissue Doppler
- Strain imaging
- Intravascular ultrasound
The fetal echocardiography program also uses ultrasound to diagnose heart defects in utero, before the baby is born. This allows subspecialists to perform interventional therapy soon after birth so that more child survive and go on to have good quality of life.