Children’s heart diseases

Paediatric cardiology

At Tays, the examination and treatment of heart diseases in children and adolescents under the age of 16 is centralised in the Paediatric Cardiology Outpatient Clinic and in paediatric wards. We examine patients with a disease or symptoms that require additional studies to determine their cause, such as an ultrasound examination, 24-hour ambulatory ECG monitoring or exercise ECG.

The symptoms studied and diseases treated at Tays include:

  • cardiac murmur
  • cardiac arrhythmia
  • cardiac structural abnormalities
  • cardiomyopathy
  • congenital heart diseases in children

Examinations and treatment at Tays

Our examinations are provided on a referral basis. In the examination and follow-up of heart diseases, an ultrasound examination is usually carried out, complete with an ECG and blood pressure measurement.

When structural abnormalities of the heart are examined, blood pressure is measured from the patient’s hands and legs. In addition to the regular ECG, we study arrhythmias by means of 24-hour ambulatory ECG or Holter monitoring and stress-induced symptoms by means of clinical exercise ECG.

The majority of the tests are carried out at the outpatient clinic. Severely ill patients are in need of inpatient treatment on the ward, and the administration of some heart medicines is started on the ward.

Operative and surgical treatment

The operative and surgical treatment of children’s heart diseases is centralised in Helsinki at the HUCH Children's Hospital.

In cardiac catheterisation, the adequacy of the circulatory system is examined, and pressure measurements and angiography procedures can be carried out. A catheterisation procedure can be used for closing apertures with a closing device or for opening obstructed valves or vessels. Arrhythmia can be treated by means of catheter ablation and pacemaker implantation.

The pre-examination of patients in need on an operation or surgery and the follow-up preceding it will be carried out at Tays. The results will be sent to HUCH for treatment planning purposes.

The patients usually present for an operation or surgery directly to the Children’s Hospital with a referral, so no prior evaluation appointment in Helsinki is necessary. Post-operative follow-up takes place at Tays, and post-operative hospital treatment may also be provided at Tays to a certain extent.

Special expertise at Tays

The Tays Paediatric Cardiology Outpatient Clinic has a child-friendly environment for examinations. The examinations scheduled at the outpatient clinic visit are carried out all at once in the adjacent doctor’s and nurse’s appointment rooms. Where necessary, the same nurse accompanies the child for the entire duration of the appointment visit to help the child to relax for the examination.

Research related to children’s heart diseases is carried out at Tays, with 3D ultrasound used as one of the methods. The object of our interest is the cardiac changes associated with the treatment of malicious diseases in children.

Persons in charge

Deputy Chief Physician Tuija Poutanen
Specialist Anneli Eerola