Cardiology Programs

Pediatric Heart Failure Clinic


The Pediatric Heart Failure Clinic at Phoenix Children's Hospital offers state-of-the-art pediatric cardiovascular care, beginning with a comprehensive evaluation that allows us to understand your child's heart problem fully. We take great pride in providing individualized management for our patients and their families.

We recognize that family-oriented, comprehensive care and follow-up are critical to achieving a successful outcome. Parents and caregivers are key members of the child's health care team, and we work closely with you and with your child's referring physicians to implement the best plan of care.

Our treatment plan takes advantage of the most advanced medical therapies, as well as cutting-edge interventions in cardiology and open-heart surgery procedures. Our team is happy to work with your primary cardiologist as consultants or serve as the primary cardiology team. We welcome the opportunity to provide second opinions for children with heart failure.

Subspecialty Clinics

General Pediatric Heart Failure Clinic – Serves any patient referred for heart failure evaluation including cardiomyopathies and patients with congenital heart disease.

Fontan Advanced Cardiac Therapies Program – Dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of patients with single ventricle physiology and signs of heart failure including low cardiac output, chronic cyanosis, protein losing enteropathy, plastic bronchitis.

Neuromuscular Disorders Clinic – Multidisciplinary clinic supported by experts from Neurology, Pulmonary Medicine, Rehab, Genetics and Cardiology to provide a collaborative approach for patients with muscular dystrophies and other neuromuscular conditions.

Diagnosis and Evaluation

Phoenix Children’s Pediatric Heart Failure Clinic provides a comprehensive evaluation for each patient. Diagnostic tools used include:

  • Advanced imaging, such as CT, MRI and ECHO with 3D technology
  • Laboratory services, including genetic testing
  • Cardiac catheterization with interventional and hybrid catheterization/surgery capability
  • Advanced electrophysiology with arrhythmia mapping and cardiac event recording
  • Exercise and pulmonary function testing

Conditions Treated

The Heart Failure Clinic manages heart failure from a variety of conditions, including:

  • Cardiomyopathies including Hypertrophic, Restrictive, Dilated and LV Non-Compaction (LVNC)
  • Familial disorders including arrhythmias, genetic cardiomyopathies such as those above along with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), mitochondrial disorders and other syndromes
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart failure after repair of congenital heart disease

Treatment Options

Medication Therapy

The first line of treatment for heart failure is medication. Medications prescribed may include:

  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB)
  • Aldosterone antagonists
  • Beta blockers
  • Antiarrhythmic medications
  • Diuretics

Pacemakers and Defibrillators

After medication therapy is used, the physician may recommend installing a pacemaker or internal cardiac defibrillator (ICD). Simple internal defibrillators can rescue patients with heart failure from sudden cardiac arrest while biventricular pacemakers and ICD’s can also treat heart failure when is it caused or accompanied by abnormal electrical activation within the heart’s conduction system. This is called cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Mechanical Circulatory Support and Advanced Heart Failure Therapies

Another treatment option for heart failure is mechanical circulatory support devices, such as ECMO or ventricular assist device (VAD). ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) is an external heart-lung machine capable of supporting the function of the heart and lungs on people with cardiac or pulmonary failure. ECMO can be deployed rapidly and is capable of supporting someone for several weeks. Ventricular assist devices (VAD) are smaller pumps, either fully implantable or used outside the body that can take over the pumping function of the heart in people with heart failure. These pumps need to be surgically implanted and are capable of long term support and may be used either to support the patient until their own heart recovers or to make them healthier while awaiting heart transplantation.


If heart failure is not treatable with the above options, the physicians may recommend a heart transplant. Read more about our pediatric heart transplant program.

Multidisciplinary Team

  • Cardiothoracic Surgeons
  • Cardiologists
  • Critical Care Intensivists
  • Infectious Disease Physicians
  • Pathologists
  • Cardiac Anesthesiologists
  • Pulmonologists
  • Nephrologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Child Life specialists
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Dietitians
  • Nurses
  • Geneticists
  • Neuromuscular Specialists

Contact us

Cardiology/Cardiothoracic Surgery: (602) 888-0788
Heart Failure / Heart Transplant Referrals: (602) 933-8800

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