Learning your child has cardiomyopathy can be one of life’s scariest moments, and Atrium Health Levine Children’s is here to help. Our experts specialize in treating children with heart problems and have seen many children with cardiomyopathy. We can guide you through this diagnosis and use the latest treatments to put your child on course for a healthy, active life.

Make an appointment

To learn more about cardiomyopathy care at Levine Children’s, contact us at 704-373-1813.

About Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy happens when your child’s heart muscle doesn’t work properly. This condition is usually hereditary, meaning it’s caused by genes that run in families. Our experts treat many different kinds of cardiomyopathy including:

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM): This condition usually starts in the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping system. With DCM, the heart muscle can become thin and enlarged, making it unable to pump blood correctly.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM): HCM is where part of the heart becomes too thick and can’t pump blood throughout the body.
  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM): In this condition, the heart muscle becomes stiff, making it hard for the heart’s bottom chambers to fill with blood.
  • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD): In this condition, the heart’s right ventricle is made of fatty tissue instead of muscle. This makes it harder for the heart to pump blood and often leads to an abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC): LVNC happens when the left ventricle is spongy instead of smooth. This may not cause any health problems for some kids, while it may cause other kids to have conditions like an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Our doctors closely monitor kids with LVNC and start treatment if they see signs of illness.
  • Pompe disease: This disease happens when your child’s body is missing an enzyme called acid alfa glucosidase (GAA). This makes it so their body can’t break down certain sugars. Pompe disease can cause kids to have an enlarged heart, an irregular heartbeat and lung problems.

Treatments

Our cardiologists, surgeons, nurses and other specialists use the latest treatments like:

  • Ventricular assist devices (VADs): A VAD is a small mechanical pump that doctors carefully place at the bottom of your child’s heart to help it pump blood. VADs can support your child’s heart for several years and are often used to help children waiting for a heart transplant. We’re home to some of the region’s most advanced VAD care, helping everyone from tiny babies to teenagers live well with this device.
  • Pacemakers: A small device placed in a child’s chest to help control irregular heart rhythm.
  • Enzyme infusion: If your child has Pompe disease, our doctors can give them an enzyme to help break down sugars. This makes it easier for the heart to function.
  • Myectomy: For children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, our doctors will often make it easier for blood to flow by removing a small part of the heart’s wall.
  • Heart transplant: We’re one of the few hospitals in our region that offers pediatric heart transplants. Our team of imaging experts, surgeons and intensive care cardiologists work together to make this procedure as easy as possible on your child and family.

Supportive services

A heart condition affects every part of your child's life. That's why we offer resources to support kids and their families, including:

  • Camp LUCK. This summer camp is for kids with heart conditions and their siblings. Camp LUCK helps children build a community with other kids who are having similar experiences.

  • Child life specialists. These specialists help children and their families with things like getting ready for medical procedures. They can also help your child’s teachers and classmates understand their illness.

  • The HEARTest Yard. This program provides in-home nursing support for children and families as they transition home from the hospital. This program is funded by the Greg Olsen Foundation and was launched after former Carolina Panther’s football player and his wife, Kara, had a baby with a severe heart defect.

  • Cardiac neurodevelopmental program. Sometimes heart conditions can affect a child’s brain development and lead to things like learning delays. Our brain development experts will help your child overcome any challenges that come up as they grow.

  • Nurse navigators. These nurses support and build close relationships with each patient and family. They become experts on each child’s condition and medical history, teach parents at-home care, attend appointments to answer questions and discuss treatments, and more.

  • Nutritionists. Our nutritionists make sure kids have a balanced diet and are getting the nutrients they need to stay strong.

  • Social workers. They help families cope by connecting them with things like counseling, support groups and financial assistance.

  • Pastoral care. Our chaplains offer religious and spiritual support when families request a visit.

Why choose Levine Children's

  • Highly specialized heart care. We’re home to some of the region’s most experienced pediatric cardiologists. We’ve seen all types of cardiomyopathies in all types of patients, and we offer the latest therapies and surgeries to give your child a good outcome. And we work closely with Atrium Health Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute to give our patients access to the most advanced and effective treatments.

  • Multiple specialties in one place. From electrophysiologists who study your child’s heartbeat, to geneticists who evaluate how your child’s genes affect their health, we work together to match every patient with the treatment that’s right for them.

  • Top surgical outcomes in the region. Our surgeons use the most advanced tools – including a 3D printer to model your child’s heart so they know exactly how to fix it.

  • Care for every part of your child’s health. Our care goes far beyond treating your child’s heart condition. We connect patients with supportive services like nutritional support, social workers and brain development specialists as needed to make sure kids flourish and thrive.

The HEARTest Yard Congenital Heart Center

1001 Blythe Blvd., Suite 500
Charlotte, NC 28203

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