Pediatric Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Research and Innovation

Diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias

The Pediatric Arrhythmia program has concentrated on novel pediatric electrophysiologic approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias.

  1. Improving the safety of ablation therapy for SVT and VT
    1. Cutting-edge technology, including 3-D electroanatomic mapping to decrease radiation exposure during ablation
    2. Cryotherapy to decrease the risk of heart block and damage to the normal conduction system, which is one of the most troublesome complications known to occur with ablation therapy
  2. Novel methods of placing implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) to protect against sudden death, including implantation in the smallest recorded recipient of an ICD (implanted at 2 days of life)
  3. Arrhythmia management tailored to the unique needs of pediatric and congenital heart disease patients with heart failure, including placement of ICDs, as well as innovative use of resynchronization devices to improve heart function and patient survival
  4. A dedicated inherited arrhythmias clinic, including a cardiovascular genetics counselor, a pediatric electrophysiologist and a genetics cardiologist, to deliver multidisciplinary care to families with inherited arrhythmias
  5. A dedicated pediatric psychologist for assessment of anxiety and depression in patients with ICDs
  6. A Stanford app to help expand the ways we diagnose arrhythmia (a heart rhythm problem) in children.
  7. First-ever discovery in mice of how to visualize the special cells (the cardiac conduction system[CCS]) that generate and transmit electrical signals to create rhythmic contractions within the heart. Our doctor-researcher’s goal now is to adapt this technology to humans with the potential to improve accuracy in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac imaging, and arrhythmia (heart rhythm) management for children in the future.
  8. A novel approach to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) for children with serious heart rhythm conditions that helps the heart beat more efficiently by pacing from multiple sites and places in the heart rather than the traditional single site used with pacemakers.

Management of arrhythmias in heart failure

Our research has concentrated on both the management of arrhythmias in heart failure and the use of resynchronization therapy to improve heart function in pediatric and CHD patients with heart failure:

  1. The first multicenter report of resynchronization therapy (biventricular pacing) in children with heart failure (Dubin et al. JACC 2004)
  2. The first study that showed the importance of biventricular pacing in patients who are pacemaker dependent with no underlying rhythm (Ceresnak et al Heart Rhythm 2015)
  3. The first investigation showing a mortality benefit to resynchronization therapy in children and patients with congenital heart diseasev (Chubb, Circ, Arrhythmia and EP 2020)
  4. The first assessment of patient- and parent-identified needs in pediatric patients with ICDs (Schneider PACE 2020)​

Ablation therapy

Our research also has concentrated on how to improve safety of ablation therapy:

  1. Improving outcomes in patients with SVT using cryoablation (Reddy Heart Rhythm 2017)
  2. Decreasing radiation exposure in patients undergoing ablation (Ceresnak JCE 2015)