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If your child has a genetic condition that affects their heart, they need a specialized team that knows how to keep them happy and healthy. Atrium Health Levine Children’s sees all types of heart conditions in kids, and our experts will work together to deliver innovative treatments that help your child have a brighter future.

About genetic heart conditions

Genetic heart conditions happen when babies are born with a genetic syndrome that causes heart problems. These syndromes include:

  • Down syndrome (trisomy 21)
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Noonan syndrome
  • Turner syndrome
  • William’s syndrome
  • 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

What we treat

We treat all types of heart issues, including:

  • Aortic valve stenosis (AVS): A condition in which the valve that leads to the aorta (the large tube that carries blood from the heart to the body) does not open normally.
  • Atrial septal defect (ASD): A hole in the wall of the heart between the 2 upper chambers.
  • Coarctation of the aorta (CoA): A condition in which the aorta (the artery that carries blood to the heart) is narrow.
  • Ebstein’s anomaly: A condition in which the valve between the chambers on the right side of the heart doesn’t close properly.
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS): A condition in which one side of a child’s heart doesn’t develop properly in the womb.
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis: A condition in which the valve between the heart and lungs does not open properly.
  • Single ventricle defects: A condition in which one of the heart’s lower chambers is too small or underdeveloped.
  • Tetralogy of Fallot: A rare combination of 4 heart defects including ventricular septal defect (VSD), pulmonary valve stenosis, a misplaced aorta and a thickened right ventricular wall (right ventricular hypertrophy).
  • Transposition of the great arteries: A condition in which the 2 main arteries leaving the heart are reversed.
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD): A hole in the wall that separates the heart’s lower chambers.

Treating genetic heart conditions

Our pediatric cardiologists, surgeons, imaging experts and other specialists will work together to create a custom treatment plan for your child. This plan could include:

Catheterization

Doctors can fix some heart problems by using a catheter – a long, thin tube that measures blood pressure and takes detailed pictures of the heart. Doctors insert this tube through a vein in the leg or neck, enabling them to diagnose and fix some heart problems without open-heart surgery. We’ve equipped our lab with the latest tools and technologies, which help kids go home sooner and recover faster. We also take steps to reduce radiation during catheterization procedures, and we have some of the lowest radiation exposure of any lab in the country.

Medication

For some genetic heart conditions, medicines (usually delivered through pills or an IV) are the best way to get your child’s heart to beat stronger or have a more regular rhythm.

Surgery

We are home to some of the nation’s top pediatric heart surgeons, and they have vast experience repairing many types of genetic heart problems. Our team does everything they can to make sure surgery is as easy as possible for patients and families.

Ventricular assist devices (VADs)

A VAD is a small pump that doctors place at the bottom of your child’s heart to help blood move through the body. These devices can support your child’s heart for several years and are often used to help children waiting for a heart transplant. Our surgeons have placed these devices in all types of children with all types of heart conditions, and they know how to help kids with VADs stay healthy and active.

Marfan syndrome program

We’re home to one of the few dedicated Marfan programs in the region, offering highly specialized care for kids with this condition.

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