Heart Institute

The Cardiomyopathy Program: Caring for Kids With Heart Muscle Disease


The Cardiomyopathy Program at Children's Hospital Colorado provides care for babies, children and young adults whose heart muscle doesn't work as well as it should (a condition known as cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure).

We specialize in diagnosing and managing all forms of cardiomyopathy, including the three most common types of heart muscle disease: dilated, restrictive and hypertrophic cardiomyopathies. We also care for kids with a family history of congenital heart disease (heart defects present at birth) that can lead to problems with the heart muscle.

Why choose Children's Hospital Colorado for the treatment of cardiomyopathy?

Our team of pediatric heart experts helps treat kids with cardiomyopathy and those suffering from heart failure. We offer treatment options that are individualized for each child, with a strong emphasis on quality of life.

Our program is particularly unique in that two of our specialists, Dr. Shelley Miyamoto and Dr. Scott Auerbach, perform the diagnostic heart catheterization and heart muscle biopsy tests themselves. That means the same doctors who find and diagnose your child's heart problem will actually be treating it. This provides a continuity of care that is not common at other centers across the country.

The Cardiomyopathy Program also plays a key role for infants and children in need of mechanical circulatory support, known as heart or heart-lung bypass machines. We utilize the most state-of-the-art devices used to support patients with end-stage heart failure. 

Screening and follow up for at-risk patients

For children with a family history of cardiomyopathy, we offer screening, consultation and long-term follow-up. Screening is also important for children with risk factors such as exposure to certain types of chemotherapy, neuromuscular or skeletal disorders and mitochondrial disease.

Collaboration to provide the best care

When patients suffering from heart failure need a transplant, our close relationship with the Heart Transplant Program enables a smooth and timely referral, which is critical when every minute counts. We also work closely with our electrophysiology (EP) colleagues, since heart rhythm abnormalities can be a problem in children with cardiomyopathy.

Caring for kids outside of the Heart Institute

Children with neuromuscular, metabolic, genetic and skeletal muscle disorders are also at risk for cardiomyopathy. That's why doctors from the Cardiomyopathy Program collaborate with many other subspecialties to offer comprehensive heart care to patients throughout the hospital.

Committed to research and constantly improving care

To help deliver the best possible treatment and outcomes for kids with cardiomyopathy, our team is actively involved in:

  • Researching how a child's heart adapts during heart failure 
  • Identifying novel treatment options that are specific to children
  • Clinical research on heart transplant outcomes
  • Investigating the response of a failing heart to certain medications
  • Participating and seeking out clinical trial opportunities for our patients

Equipping families with resources and education

We're here to support your family and make sure you have all the information to fully understand your child's heart disease. We'll share research advancements, conferences, clinical trial opportunities and treatment updates with your child and family. If you ever need more information, or just have a question, please ask – we're always here to provide resources for your family and world-class care for your child.

Learn about symptoms of cardiomyopathy in children.