Specific tests help pediatric cardiologists determine if there a problem with a child's heart. Some procedures are done by University of Mississippi Medical Center's radiology department, while others are performed by children's arrhythmia specialists and the pediatric echocardiogram program at Children's of Mississippi.
Our cardiologists and radiologists are experts in congenital heart imaging. We are committed to providing excellent care to our young patients with cardiac diagnostic imaging for heart conditions, including:
Our physicians use heart catheterization and non-invasive imaging services for diagnosis of congenital heart issues. Non-invasive imaging for pediatric patients includes echocardiography (echo), fetal echocardiography, transesophageal and intraoperative echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging and angiography (MRA) and computed tomography (CT). Pediatric anesthesia is available and routinely used for all ages and all imaging services.
Cardiac MRI provides detailed functional images of the heart without the use of ionizing radiation or iodinated contrast media. The imaging procedure performed by UMMC radiologists uses powerful magnets to look inside the body. Computer-generated pictures can image the heart muscle and evaluate various heart problems.
Heart services at Children's of Mississippi use some of the most advanced and sophisticated diagnostic imaging equipment in the state, including three-dimensional echocardiograms. Painless and non-invasive “echos” use sound waves to look at the structure and function of the heart, including its vessels, walls and valves.
The images are reviewed for a pediatric cardiologist to help determine the best medical treatment for the child. A few minutes of painless scanning provide the specialist with a clear picture of the heart and the severity of any defect. If treatment is necessary, whether surgical or medicinal, follow-up echos can be performed to track the young patient’s progress.
A fetal echocardiogram is an ultrasound test performed during pregnancy to evaluate the heart of the unborn baby.
Echocardiography assesses the heart's structures and function. A small probe called a transducer (similar to a microphone) is placed on the mother's abdomen and sends out ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. When the transducer is placed in certain locations and at certain angles, the ultrasonic sound waves move through the mother's and baby's skin and other body tissues to the baby's heart tissues, where the waves bounce (or "echo") off of the heart structures. The transducer picks up the reflected waves and sends them to a computer. The computer interprets the echoes into an image of the heart walls and valves.
Fetal echocardiography can help detect fetal heart abnormalities before birth, allowing for faster medical or surgical intervention once the baby is born. This improves the chance of survival after delivery for babies with serious heart defects.