If your child needs a heart catheterization, there’s no better place for that procedure than Boston Children’s Hospital. We are home to the largest pediatric catheterization program in the U.S., with five full-time dedicated interventional cardiologists, who perform over 1,400 catheterizations each year on newborns, children and adults.

Cardiac catheterization is often used at Boston Children’s to treat congenital heart defects in babies and small children while avoiding the risks of open-heart surgery. Our interventional catheterization specialists can use this procedure to observe a patient’s heart structure, measure blood pressure, close holes/vessels, replace heart valves, expand narrowed passages and open new passages.

Our interventional cardiologists perform hundreds of cardiac catheterizations a year and train more specialists to perform the procedure than any other hospital in the United States. As a high volume center dedicated to the highest standards of patient care and innovation, we’re committed to providing treatment individualized to your child’s needs.

Conditions and Treatments

Our specialists treat the full spectrum of heart disorders and diseases, including:

Aortic valve stenosis Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Pericarditis
Coarctation of the Aorta Pulmonary Atresia
Congenital Heart Defects Pulmonary Hypertension
Coronary Artery Fistula Pulmonary Regurgitation
Cyanosis Pulmonary Vein Stenosis
Ebstein’s anomaly Septal Defects
Heart Failure Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with Pulmonary Atresia
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)
Kawasaki Disease Truncus Arteriosis
Mid-Aortic Syndrome Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
Mitral Stenosis

Research and Innovation

In 1938, Boston Children’s cardiac surgeon Robert Gross, MD, performed the world’s first successful surgery to correct a child’s heart defect. Since that time, our program’s culture has been one of innovation — solving difficult problems that others haven’t been able to solve, tackling the most complex cases, and figuring out how to make the process easier for patients. We are focused on developing new methods to repair heart structures rather than replace them whenever possible, with minimally invasive approaches.

The catheterization laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital has a long history of developing non-surgical ways of treating children with heart disease and partnering with our surgical colleagues to optimize care before, during and after surgery. For decades, we have played an important role in developing and optimizing minimally invasive treatments such as valve dilation, device closure of vessels and intracardiac communications, stent placement, and valve replacement.

This track record of innovation extends across a broad range of patient ages and conditions, including the world’s first successful prenatal aortic valvuloplasty to prevent progression of fetal aortic stenosis to hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) in a 19-week-old fetus. We frequently review and re-evaluate our techniques and results. By sharing these experiences through publications and presentations, our catheterization program is proud to positively impact the care of patients around the world.

Next Steps

For questions, more information, or to schedule an appointment for your child, please call the International Heart Center anytime at +1-857-218-3913 or email heart@childrens.harvard.edu. You may want to begin gathering relevant paperwork such as the patient’s height and weight, medications, most recent echocardiogram in DICOM-preferred format (and accompanying report), most recent cardiology summary and clinical status, as well as any other recent cardiac studies such as cath, MRI or CT scans.