Diagnosing heart disease in children can be complex and requires a comprehensive evaluation by a physician or other healthcare professional specializing in pediatric cardiology. The directory below provides some means by which heart disease in children is evaluated and diagnosed.
At Phoenix Children's, the cardiac specialists within the Childrens' Heart Center offer numerous non-invasive and invasive cardiology services to accurately and efficiently diagnose and treat your child's cardiac condition.
What is Cardiac Imaging?
Cardiac imaging covers a spectrum of techniques that accurately and efficiently diagnose and treat a child's cardiac condition. These imaging modalities include:
- Echocardiography. This procedure assesses the heart's structures and function. Echocardiography is also called echo, cardiac ultrasound or ultrasonography, or cardiac Doppler.
- Chest X-Ray. X-rays produce images of the body, organs and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes using low levels of external radiation. X-rays pass through body structures onto specially treated plates (similar to camera film) and make a "negative" type picture.
- EKG/ECG. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is one of the simplest and fastest procedures to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches) are placed at certain locations on a child's chest, arms and legs. When the electrodes are connected to the ECG machine by lead wires, the electrical activity of a child's heart is measured, interpreted and printed out for the referring physician’s information and further interpretation.
- Transesophageal Echocardiography. This procedure, also known as TEE or heart scan with endoscopy, uses a small probe guided into the esophagus while a child is sedated to closely evaluate the heart and its surrounding blood vessels.
- Fetal Echocardiography. This ultrasound test performed during pregnancy evaluates the heart of the unborn baby.
- CT (Computed Tomography) Scan. A computed tomography scan (also called CT or CAT scan), captures many different X-ray views of any particular part of the body (including organs, bones and muscles) by using an X-ray beam that moves in a circle around the body. Afterward, a computer interprets the X-ray data and displays it in a two-dimensional format on a monitor.
- Ultrafast/Electron Beam CT Scan. Recent advances in medical technology make it possible for Ultrafast CT scans to take multiple images of the heart within the time of a single heartbeat, thus providing more detail about the heart's function and structures while greatly decreasing the amount of time required for a study. Also known as electron-beam tomography (or EBT), this technology can be used to diagnose some heart diseases.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This diagnostic procedure produces detailed images of organs and structures within the body by using a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies and a computer.
- Cardiac Catheterization. During this specialized procedure, a long, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted into a blood vessel (usually in the leg or arm) and guided into the heart, allowing a close look at the structures inside.
Imaging Scheduling (ECHO): (602) 933-1610
Cardiology: (602) 888-0788