Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Cardiology

If your child or young adult has a heart condition that requires care, there’s a good chance you will visit our cardiac catheterization/interventional cardiology laboratory at some point during your care journey with us. Our pediatric cardiac catheterization and interventional cardiology team performs over 1,200 cardiac catheterizations each year, placing us in the top four pediatric heart centers in the U.S. for volume of cases.

At Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, we provide every type of cardiac catheterization available, including procedures that are uncommon at other health care providers in the country. With cardiac catheterization, we insert a long, thin tube called a catheter in a blood vessel and thread it to your child’s heart to determine how well the heart is functioning and how certain heart defects may be affecting your child’s health.

Our care team uses cardiac catheterization and angiography (safe dye to illuminate parts of the heart) to diagnose a full range of simple to highly complex heart conditions, and we use our findings to treat children of all ages who qualify for a minimally invasive interventional cardiac procedure (i.e., interventional cardiology). In other words, we not only diagnose with catheterization but also can intervene to fix a concern. In this way, we may be able to help your child avoid heart surgery by providing a less-invasive cardiac catheterization procedure, which is proven to reduce risk and trauma, safely shorten hospital stays, and dramatically shorten recovery times for our patients.

For some children with very complex hearts, we take our care one step further and can offer hybrid procedures—a combination of a heart surgery and cardiac catheterization—to provide exactly what a child needs in fewer steps.

Why choose Stanford Medicine Children’s Health for cardiac catheterization and interventional cardiology

Highlights of our care include:

Our pediatric cardiac catheterization/interventional cardiologists (doctors specially trained in using catheters) are known across the nation as experts in treating children of all ages, from fetuses to adults, with a wide range of congenital (present at birth) and acquired heart disease. They consistently achieve exceptional outcomes despite caring for some of the most complex heart patients.


By working in tandem with our world-renowned pediatric congenital heart surgeons, we provide well-rounded, effective heart care for highly complex heart patients. For example, we specialize in caring for children with heart-lung issues, such as those with tetralogy of Fallot (a combination of four congenital heart defects) with major aortopulmonary collateral arteries (MAPCAs) who need pulmonary artery reconstruction. Moreover, our interventional cardiology team has expertise in treating babies born prematurely or with a very low birth weight such as in our Preterm Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) Closure Program.

We are leaders in adopting and inventing minimally invasive techniques, proven through research and clinical trials. For example, we were one of three pediatric hospitals in the country to initially use the Harmony™ transcatheter pulmonary valve (TPV) to treat pulmonary valve regurgitation without heart surgery, and today we use an array of cutting-edge TPVs. We also have made our own transcatheter pulmonary valve to work in small children, and we are currently working on stents (metal mesh scaffolds used to hold vessels open) specifically targeted for children.