What We Treat

If your child has been diagnosed with an arrhythmia, palpitations or chest pains, it is critical they receive coordinated, specialized care. Arrhythmias, or an abnormal rhythm of the heart, may be congenital (present at birth) or they may develop later. At Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, we follow more than 1,000 patients with arrhythmias from before birth through adulthood, as well as treat children who have palpitations or chest pains and turn to our providers to determine if an arrhythmia is present.

Services We Offer

Our Arrhythmia Program provides dedicated outpatient and inpatient services for patients with:

  • A family history of arrhythmia or sudden unexpected death possibly caused by an arrhythmia
  • Bradycardia (slower than normal heart rate)
  • Supraventricular tachycardia (faster than normal heart rate)
  • Ventricular tachycardia
  • Syncope
  • Brugada syndrome
  • Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC)
  • Catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT)
  • Long QT syndrome
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
    • Pediatric Center of Excellence

Patients with arrhythmias often require specialized and targeted expertise. Our outpatient services include:

  • Cardiac exercise stress test
  • Device management
    • Pacemakers
    • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators
    • Loop recorders
    • Remote home monitoring of all devices
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Genetic testing for familial arrhythmias
  • Medical management of arrhythmias
  • Event monitors

Inpatient procedures are performed in our dedicated pediatric electrophysiology lab using state-of-the-art equipment. Specific tests may include:

  • Electrophysiology study
    • Radiofrequency and cryoablation therapies
  • Implantable event monitors
  • Pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation
  • Drug testing for inheritable arrhythmias

Exercise stress test

What are the exercise stress tests offered at CHOA?

  • Cardiopulmonary exercise stress test (bike or treadmill)
  • Exercise stress echocardiogram

What is a cardiopulmonary exercise stress test?

A cardiac exercise stress test with metabolic gas analysis examines how the heart and lungs work together during and after exercise. Every few minutes, the exercise increases in difficulty, varying in speed and elevation on a treadmill and in resistance on a bike until the patient reaches a maximal effort. The patient is hooked up to an electrocardiogram to monitor heart rate and rhythm throughout exercise. Additionally, a mask covers the nose and mouth and is used to monitor breathing and how the body uses oxygen and removes carbon dioxide during exercise.

What is an exercise stress echocardiogram?

An exercise stress echocardiogram is a maximal effort test that examines heart and lung function during and after exercise. An echocardiogram is performed at each work stage of the exercise protocol, or just before and at immediate peak exercise.

Why are these tests ordered?

Many heart tests are performed at rest, however, the heart and lungs work harder during exercise. These tests examine how the heart functions at increased heart rates and how the lungs function at higher breathing rates. These tests are used to:

  • Evaluate congenital heart disease
  • Assess aerobic conditioning
  • Evaluate for exercise induced arrhythmias
  • Evaluate cardiac and pulmonary response to exercise
  • Assess cardiac and pulmonary functional capacity
  • Assess symptoms and exercise induced symptoms
  • Evaluate for asthma and exercise induced asthma
  • Assess sports clearance

How is it performed?

The exercise tests can be performed on either a bicycle or a treadmill. The stress echo is usually performed on a bicycle but can be performed on a treadmill. The tests consist of progressive stages of exercise that increase every few minutes in speed and elevation (treadmill) or in resistance (bicycle).

Where do I go for this test?

The tests are performed at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-- Egleston campus:

1405 Clifton Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30322
404-785-6476

How long does it take?

Prepare to be available for 1-1.5 hours for the exercise stress test and 2-2.5 hours for the stress echo. The exercise time itself depends on the patient's level of conditioning, but, on average, lasts about 20 minutes. The total time in the lab is used for test set-up, test explanation, exercise and recovery.

Who interprets the test and how long until I receive the results?

A pediatric cardiologist will interpret the results of the test and the patient's ordering physician will contact you with the results within two weeks of the test. If the results yield something dangerous, a physician will review the test before the patient leaves the exercise lab.

Device clinic

The device clinic includes evaluation and interrogation of pacemakers, implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) and loop recorders. Regular follow-up is important as the doctor will check battery life, how often your child is using the device and that the leads are functioning properly. The team will also process remote home monitor transmissions in between in-clinic visits.

Address:
1405 Clifton Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30322

Office hours:
Monday –Friday 8 am to 5 pm
404-785-6476

After hours, weekends and holidays:
404-256-2593

Helpful Resources

Meet the Team

Arrhythmia Program Team