A pediatric cardiologist is a pediatrician who has received extensive training in diagnosing and treating children's cardiac problems. Evaluation and treatment may begin with the fetus since heart problems can now be detected before birth.
When a pediatrician suspects a heart problem, he or she may ask a pediatric cardiologist to investigate further. Common causes for a referral to the pediatric cardiologist include heart murmurs, chest pain, dizzy spell(s) or palpitations. Initial evaluations may result in the patient and his/her parents being reassured that there is nothing to worry about.
A pediatric cardiologist is trained to perform and interpret procedures such as electrocardiograms, echocardiograms and exercise tests. In cases of more significant heart disease, a pediatric cardiologist may perform a cardiac catheterization in order to diagnose or treat the child's heart problem. If the child needs to be hospitalized, the pediatric cardiologist and pediatric cardiac surgeon work together in planning cardiac surgery, when needed. However, in all cases the pediatric cardiologist is there, every step of the way.