The Fetal Cardiology Program at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Heart Center provides complete consultation services for expectant mothers whose unborn children have suspected or known heart problems.
Led by Erik Michelfelder, MD, a Pediatric Cardiologist at Children’s, the Fetal Cardiology Program is dedicated to providing exemplary care to the fetus diagnosed with structural or functional heart disease, as well as supporting the fetus and expectant family in a compassionate, comprehensive manner.
In 2020, our team performed more than 2,100 fetal cardiac evaluations and more than 36,000 transthoracic echocardiograms, making our program one of the largest fetal cardiology programs in the country. With 12 offices across Georgia, we provide convenient access to families needing fetal cardiac care throughout the state. We have 19 fetal cardiologists on staff with an average of more than 14 years of experience in fetal cardiology. Our extensive experience in cardiac imaging allows each family to receive a comprehensive, specialized fetal cardiac evaluation, including a detailed plan and recommendations for future care to both the referring physician and family.
What can I expect from the Children’s Fetal Cardiology Program?
Once diagnosed, fetal heart problems are managed through an interdisciplinary approach within the Fetal Cardiology Program. Parents consult with cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiac interventionists as indicated for specific heart conditions. We collaborate closely with local and regional obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists and delivery centers to help make sure care planning and management of the fetus with heart disease is provided at the highest level. We also offer prenatal genetic counseling, social work support and interaction with specialized cardiac nurses.
Our team provides:
- Family-centered care.
- Resources for counseling and educating families.
- Detailed information to help families understand the diagnosis.
- Assistance in birth planning and post-natal management of the newborn.
Conditions we treat include:
- Atrioventricular (AV) canal defect
- Coarctation of the aorta
- Fetal arrhythmia
- Atrial flutter
- Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT)
- Heart block
- Fetal heart failure
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
- Single ventricle heart disease
- Tetralogy of fallot
- Transposition of the great arteries (TGA)
- Ventricular septal defect
To learn more about our Fetal Cardiology Program, contact Kendall Haney, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, at 404-785-8745.
Our Fetal Cardiology Program
As the largest fetal cardiology program in the Southeast, we treat more than 2,100 patients each year and work collaboratively with local and regional obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists and delivery centers to help make sure each patient receives specialized care for their individual needs. Our team of experts is skilled in caring for the tiniest hearts before and after children are born to help them live healthy lives.
Advancements and Innovation in Pediatric Heart Care
Volumes and Outcomes
We monitor and report our overall cardiac surgical outcomes and volumes to provide the most accurate information to patient families.
You may be referred to a fetal cardiologist for a fetal echocardiogram if:
- An ultrasound or anatomy scan shows a possible heart defect or problem in the baby.
- The mother, father or siblings of the baby have a history of heart problems.
- An abnormal or irregular heartbeat is heard in the baby.
- A genetic or chromosomal abnormality is identified in the baby.
- Abnormalities in the baby's other major organ systems, such as the brain, kidneys or lungs, are identified by ultrasound.
- The mother has a medical condition, such as diabetes or phenylketonuria (PKU), or a connective tissue disease, such as lupus or Sjogren's syndrome that can affect the baby's heart.
- The mother has been exposed to viruses, or certain medicines or drugs that can affect development of the baby's heart.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fetal Cardiology
Our fetal cardiology team has developed answers to common questions you may have about congenital heart defects.
Our Fetal Cardiology Program team, as well as the Children’s Heart Center team of cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons who support the program, are dedicated to the health and well-being of children born with a heart defect.
- Erik Michelfelder, MD, Director
- Kendall Haney, BSN, RN, Clinical Nurse Coordinator
- Laura Lei Castillo, BSN, RN, CPN, Clinical Nurse
- Joe Kreeger, RDCS, Lead Fetal Sonographer
- Erin Demo, MS, CGC, Genetic Counselor
- Linda Knight, MSc, Genetic Counselor
- Wesley Blackwood, MD
- William Border, MD
- Brian Cardis, MD
- Andrew Dodgen, MD
- Matthew Ferguson, MD
- Brandon Harden, MD
- Glen Iannucci, MD
- Clifford Wesley Lindsey, MD
- William Mahle, MD
- Andrew Porter, MD
- Ritu Sachdeva, MD
- Denver Sallee, MD
- Cyrus Samai, MD
- Nanci Stauffer, MD
- Divya Suthar, MD
- Benjamin Toole, MD
- Neill Videlefsky, MD
- Michelle Wallace, MD
- Timotheus Watson, MD
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