The state-of-the-art Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at the Children’s Heart Center is used to diagnose and provide valuable clinical information in many forms of congenital heart disease.

Catheterization data is often required to reevaluate previously repaired heart defects and to obtain biopsies of the heart muscle for routine or emergent detection of rejection in a transplanted heart. Interventional catheter-based therapies are now standard-of-care for many forms of congenital heart disease that previously could only be treated via open heart surgery. These relatively non-invasive procedures performed in the catheterization laboratory typically result in a shorter hospital stay and allow a more rapid recovery than conventional heart surgery. Modern catheter-based interventions are also used in combination with surgery (“hybrid” procedure) to maximize the care of our sickest neonates. These hybrid procedures represent the highly expert, cutting edge care involving multiple members of the Children’s Heart Center team, including:

  • Device closures of Atrial Septal Defects (ASD), Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) and Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD)
  • Balloon Valvuloplasty of Stenotic Valves
  • Intravascular Stent Placements/angioplasties
  • Endomyocardial Biopsies
  • Diagnostic Catheterizations
  • Percutaneous Valve Replacements

Generally, most cardiac catheterization procedures are performed while the patient is asleep. Often, sedative medications are given to make the patient more comfortable and relaxed. Other procedures may require general anesthesia that is provided and monitored by a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist.

Pediatric cardiac specialists in the electrophysiology service at the Children’s Heart Center are experts in the diagnosis and treatment for all forms of abnormal heartbeats, or arrhythmias, in all age groups, from the fetus to the adult. Common types of arrhythmias include:

  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome
  • Ventricular tachycardia
  • Long QT Syndrome
  • Palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness & fainting
  • Trouble with exercise
  • Family history of sudden death

Our specialists do a wide variety of tests to help diagnose rhythm problems including:

  • Electrocardiograms (ECG’s)
  • Holter & event monitors
  • Stress tests
  • Tilt table test

Arrhythmias in need of evaluation and treatment may occur in children with normal hearts or in children with congenital heart defects. When patients require invasive electrical testing, they are treated in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

Once a rhythm problem is diagnosed, the treatment plan is developed by the team. Members of the Children’s Heart Center team are experts at the implantation, programming and follow-up of patients requiring pacemakers and defibrillators. Our electrophysiologists use the most current equipment including three dimensional mapping systems to increase the safety and success of the procedures.

Cardiac Catheterization & Electrophysiology Team

Satinder K. Sandhu, M.D.
Director, Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
Medical School: Government Medical College, Jammu, India
Residency: Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA
Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship: St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA

Mary Sokoloski, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Medical School: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Residency: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship: Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland, OH
Pediatric Electrophysiology Fellowship: Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC