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Pediatric Cardiology’s Innovative Insights


Sidney Elizer, MD, Pediatric Cardiology Fellow; Andrew L. Papez, MD,

Phoenix Children's Center for Heart Care provides a continuum of innovative, personalized care for prenatal, infant and young adult patients with congenital heart conditions, as well as those with conditions acquired later due to disease or injury.

The team’s dedication to providing the most effective treatments available propels them to join forces with a global community of experts exploring new ways of providing care and conducting research.

Phoenix Children’s Center for Heart Care Contributed Significantly to the World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery

In August 2023, 18 faculty, fellows and residents from Phoenix Children’s Center for Heart Care participated in the World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, presenting original research, delivering educational lectures and moderating scientific sessions. The meeting, held in Washington, DC, was the first U.S. hosting of the Congress in 26 years.

One important presentation, titled “Heart Failure vs. Electrophysiology Case Presentation,” was offered by Sidney Elizer, MD, a fellow in Pediatric Cardiology at Phoenix Children’s. It explored a case managed by Andrew L. Papez, MD, program director, cardiology fellowship.

Dr. Elizer recalled the care team’s interaction with a 12-year-old female who came to the clinic with no significant past medical or surgical history and no concerning family history.

An initial electrocardiogram immediately piqued the doctors’ interest. Abnormal T waves and a borderline prolonged QT interval at 515 ms were observed, signaling the need for a closer examination. Next steps included an echocardiogram, followed by a cardiac MRI. Results confirmed a septal wall thickness of 21mm.

To complete the diagnostic evaluation, the team conducted a cardiac stress test. Surprisingly, the results were overall normal. The patient exhibited a VO2 of 85%, a physiologic chronotropic response, a normal blood pressure response, and no ectopy during exercise or the rest period.

Before suggesting treatment options, the team then performed a genetic panel. The results revealed a myosin-binding protein C mutation, providing a key piece to the puzzle.

Once the diagnostic puzzle had been put together the question was: How do we manage this patient effectively?

The solution: A multidisciplinary approach involving pediatric cardiologists, geneticists and potentially electrophysiologists. This would allow regular monitoring of the patient's cardiac function, including echocardiograms and follow-up MRIs; the appropriate use of medications to manage hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and arrhythmias, if present; and help for the family and patient as they adopted lifestyle modifications. Genetic counseling was also available to help them understand the implications of the myosin-binding protein C mutation and its inheritance pattern.

This case study exemplifies the intricate nature of pediatric cardiology and the importance of a comprehensive diagnostic approach such as that used by the Phoenix Children’s cardiology team.

Future Contributions to Improved Care for Pediatric Cardiac Patients

Extending the commitment to being a leader in the development of new approaches to diagnosing and treating pediatric cardiology conditions, Phoenix Children’s is co-hosting the 27th Annual Update on Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease, known as Cardiology 2024, with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The meeting will offer a comprehensive post-graduate course designed for pediatric cardiologists, intensivists, surgeons, nurses, neonatologists, anesthesiologists, ACHD specialists, sonographers, perfusionists and all individuals involved in caring for patients with pediatric and congenital cardiovascular disease.

The gathering, which will be held in February 2024 at the Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch, will offer plenary sessions, subspecialty breakout sessions, moderated panels and dynamic discussion groups. Phoenix Children’s will have faculty making presentations and will have an exhibitor display table Feb. 15 – 17.I n addition, Phoenix Children’s is sponsoring the Faculty Speaker Dinner on Feb. 15 and the 5K Heart Fun Run and the Nursing Luncheon on Feb. 17.

Phoenix Children’s is dedicated to participating in and leading the quest for optimal cardiac care for children everywhere.