Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure Program

Heart conditions have different causes and treatments for children and adults. So it’s important to take your child to a pediatric specialist.

At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, we offer world-class care for children with heart conditions. The Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure Program provides advanced treatment options for children with cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease) and heart failure (heart pump problems).

Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure Program: Why Choose Us

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks CHLA among the top 5 children’s hospitals in the U.S. for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery. We have world-leading experts that direct the program which means your child has access to the best possible care for pediatric cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Our program offers:

  • Excellent outcomes: We take a personalized approach to give your child the most beneficial, least invasive treatment. We offer state of the art medication therapy, carefully managed and individualized to your child’s needs. When necessary, surgically implanted devices, corrective surgery and ventricular assist devices (VADs) are available on site. If other heart failure treatments aren’t enough, we have an outstanding Heart Transplant Program. We have a three-year survival rate after a pediatric heart transplant which is among the highest levels in the nation.
  • Leading-edge research: As a teaching hospital, we lead the way in pediatric heart research and innovation. Thanks to this research, your child has access to clinical trials and emerging treatments.
  • Prompt appointments: Cardiomyopathy and heart failure can be serious. That is one reason why we see your child as soon as necessary, and often within a few days of referral. During the visit, we examine your child and can quickly start treatment if needed.
  • Expert care: The Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation designates us as a Cardiomyopathy Center of Care. This means doctors who specialize in treating pediatric cardiomyopathy care for your child, and that we offer advanced diagnosis and treatment options.
  • Comprehensive child and family support: A heart condition affects your child and family in many ways. That’s why our team includes psychologists, social workers and nurse coordinators who care for your child’s social and emotional needs. Our nurse coordinators also help your family manage all the details involved in your child’s care.

Comprehensive Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure Treatment

Our program well known by the integrated care model we support. This means that children in our Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure Program benefit from the wide array of expertise in cardiac imaging, electrophysiology, catheter assessment, molecular testing, genetic counseling and critical care expertise all under one care team. If necessary, we have access to highly skilled cardiothoracic surgeons and transplant experts. Access to all of these subspecialists is what makes the difference, and improves your child’s chances of recovery. Some of our subspecialty areas include:

  • Cardiac Anticipatory Assessment and Treatment (CAAT) Clinic: This clinic monitors children who receive treatments which have side effects on the heart. We can therefore identify heart problems early on and deliver prompt treatment. Early monitoring reduces the risk of severe heart complications. Our doctors use echocardiograms, cardiac MRIs and exercise (stress) tests to check heart function.
  • Cardiogenomics Program: Inherited genetic mutations are an important cause of cardiomyopathy, and also of congenital heart defects which lead to heart failure. Our genetics experts provide accurate and advanced genetic diagnosis, sequencing the whole exome to look for any mutations including those known to cause cardiomyopathy. Our team works with your family to help you understand your child’s diagnosis and treatment options. Learn more about cardiogenomics for genetic heart conditions.
  • Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU): When surgery for heart failure is needed, children recover from the procedure in the pediatric Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit. Our CTICU team specializes in pediatric cardiac intensive care, making it highly focused on children with cardiac needs. CTICU providers have expertise in advanced technologies including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and ventricular assist devices (VADs). Find out about cardiac critical care medicine.
  • Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program: VADs support a child’s heart when it is too weak to function on its own, giving the child time to recover. These devices assist the mechanical function of the heart in pumping blood to the body and lungs. VADs can help make children healthier candidates for transplant, by giving them the blood flow needed by the body to recover and become stronger. A VAD may also allow your child to continue school and spend time with family while waiting for a transplant. Explore what our Ventricular Assist Device Program can offer your child.
  • Heart Transplant Program: If children with heart failure are not recovering, they may be eligible for a heart transplant. Our pediatric heart transplant team is fully integrated with the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure Program, and works closely with them to ensure seamless care for your child. Learn more about our Heart Transplant Program.

Heart Conditions We Treat

We provide comprehensive care to children with conditions including: