Cardiomyopathy is a disease characterized by an improperly functioning heart muscle. There are several types of cardiomyopathies and there are multiple causes of this disease. In children the most notable causes are viral infections, congenital heart disease, or associated genetic syndromes. Cardiomyopathy treatment is aimed at treating the underlying cause; in some instances patients may develop heart failure or they may improve with therapy.
A plan will be developed for your child if he/she is diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy or Heart Failure. The plan may include medications, doctor visits, and testing. The various tests may include cardiac catheterization, biopsies, EKG, cardiac echo, CT scan, MRI, and blood laboratory tests. A patient may be a candidate for a heart transplant if this is determined by our heart failure specialist. If heart transplantation is recommended the child is referred to a cardiac transplant center to be listed for a heart transplant. A patient's insurance coverage helps to determine to which Transplant Center they can be referred.
Rady Children's Hospital of San Diego works in conjunction with the UCLA heart transplant program and has access to their expertise and guidance. Dr. Juan Carlos Alejos, Director of Pediatric Cardiac Transplant services at UCLA Medical Center is part of our team here at Rady Children's hospital. He is involved in patient care prior to the heart transplant and after. In addition, we have a dedicated team of physicians, nurses and social workers that are committed to working with families and children to implement the best plan of care.
For more information, please call the division of cardiology at 858-966-5855.