What are cardiomyopathy treatment options at Children's Colorado?
Treatment usually tries to correct the underlying cause of the cardiomyopathy. Treatment could include surgical correction of a heart defect, control of an abnormal heart rhythm or replacement of nutritional deficiencies.
At the Cardiomyopathy Program at Children's Colorado, one of our most important goals of treatment is maximizing our patients' quality of life.
Medical therapy varies with the different forms of cardiomyopathies. Patients may need no medication or they may need several medications to best manage their symptoms and disease depending on the specific type of cardiomyopathy.
If a child is considered to have a high risk for a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm known as arrhythmia, placement of an internal cardiac defibrillator (ICD) may be necessary. In those patients who develop life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, an ICD is the only modality known to prevent sudden cardiac death.
Mechanical circulatory support with artificial heart pumps such as ventricular assist devices (VAD) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) are utilized in children with severe heart failure as a bridge to transplantation.
Frequent cardiac catheterizations are necessary to monitor the blood pressure in the lungs. For some children, there is no repair or medication that can help the failing heart or rising blood pressure. In these cases, a heart transplant may be an option. A transplant occurs when a failing heart is replaced by a healthy heart from an organ donor. One out of five kids with cardiomyopathy requires a transplant within a year of their diagnosis.
Although doctors have not yet found a cure for pediatric cardiomyopathy, they continue to find new ways to help patients manage this condition.