Children's Hospital Colorado
Colorado Fetal Care Center
Colorado Fetal Care Center

Fetal Cardiology Program

A woman performs an ultrasound on a fetal cardiology patient.

Caring for moms and babies, before and after birth

Our Fetal Cardiology Program is the only one of its kind in Colorado, with specialized training in the detection of heart abnormalities in unborn babies. Our fetal cardiologists are part of Children's Hospital Colorado's Heart Institute and the Colorado Fetal Care Center, and they specialize in congenital heart defects (heart conditions present at or before birth). Our fetal cardiologists participate in this comprehensive maternal fetal program which is built on more than 30 years of partnership between Children’s Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Our experts are trained in both pediatric and fetal cardiology, which means they have years of experience in the diagnosis, management and treatment of cardiac anomalies. Our physicians and fetal specialists use state-of-the-art technology to detect heart defects as early as 14 weeks’ gestation.

A care plan tailored to each mom and baby

If a heart issue is detected during pregnancy, our fetal cardiology team provides multidisciplinary collaboration by partnering with the maternal, perinatal and neonatal experts at Children’s Colorado and the University of Colorado Hospital to develop a compassionate and comprehensive care plan for the remainder of the pregnancy. The care for unborn babies includes cardiac defects and other congenital abnormalities that may affect the cardiovascular system.

2000+ Fetal ECHOs Per Year
#1 Telemedicine Pioneers In Fetal Cardiology
FETAL Center Of Excellence For Fetal Arrhythmia

Why choose our fetal cardiology program?

We are nationally recognized for our outstanding surgical outcomes. Our program has some of the best patient outcomes of any pediatric hospital in the nation, and our patient outcomes are a result of having a highly-trained team of specialists.

Learn about our programs and clinics, as well as our quality and patient safety outcomes.

Our fetal cardiology program provides the following services:

  • Expert evaluation and diagnosis of fetal heart abnormalities
  • Detailed explanation of your baby’s heart diagnosis and treatment options
  • Personalized delivery planning with access to our state-of-the-art Maternal Fetal Care Center housed within Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • Comprehensive newborn care provided by an expert pediatric cardiology team including pediatric cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiac intensivists, cardiac anesthesiologists, genetic counselors, lactation support, dieticians, and social workers
  • Fetal Echo Telemedicine Program – We offer 24/7 fetal echocardiogram consultations and interpretation via telemedicine technology to our community partners
  • Fetal Echo Preceptorship Program – Two-day educational program offered twice a year for obstetric and cardiac medical providers
  • We provide more than 20 specialized programs for all types of congenital and acquired congenital heart conditions

Our program includes:

  • Consultations for more than 20 different types of congenital heart conditions
  • A team of expert cardiologists trained in the evaluation and diagnosis of fetal heart problems
  • Careful planning of a mom’s delivery that includes staying in close contact with your obstetrician/gynecology (OB/GYN) doctor
  • Complete care of your newborn following delivery, with access to the nationally recognized medical care of Children’s Colorado cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery teams
  • Support to help your family prepare for the arrival of its newest member

Our fetal cardiology program offers state-of-the-art fetal cardiac evaluations to families at risk for cardiac anomalies including:

  • Structural heart defects (for example hypoplastic left heart syndrome, hypoplastic right heart syndrome, valve abnormalities, septal defects and transposition of the great arteries)
  • Abnormal fetal heart rhythms: tachycardia (fast heart rate), bradycardia (slow heart rate) and irregular heart rhythms
  • Heart failure

The most common disorder treated by the fetal cardiology program

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common disorder of newborns, affecting one out of every 100 babies. Learn about CHD and the expert care we provide.

Innovative research

Our fetal cardiology team, together with the maternal, perinatal and neonatal experts at Children’s Colorado, continually strives to improve patient outcomes and advance the science of fetal cardiology. Our research includes primary fetal cardiac issues as well as non-cardiac anomalies that impact the fetal cardiovascular system. We are the leader in several national and international multicenter studies and a participating center in several others. Through our research program, we are gaining insight into the causes of fetal cardiac conditions and developing strategies for novel treatments.

What to expect at a pregnant mother’s first visit

During your first visit, you will meet with a fetal cardiologist who specializes in CHD. Moms will also receive a fetal echocardiogram, which is a safe, noninvasive ultrasound performed to evaluate your unborn baby's heart.

If a heart problem is identified in your unborn baby, further services we provide include:

  • Patient education and care coordination by a dedicated Fetal Cardiology Program coordinator
  • Consultations with other services at Children's Colorado, which may include cardiothoracic surgery, genetics and social services, as well as with maternal-fetal and neonatal specialists
  • The opportunity to meet other members of your baby’s care team

After delivery, your baby will be cared for at the Heart Institute within Children’s Colorado. Should your newborn require surgery, our cardiothoracic surgeons can perform even the most complex surgery for congenital heart disease.

Transitioning from the Colorado Fetal Care Center to the Heart Institute

After three months of receiving care at the Colorado Fetal Care Center, babies will become patients at our nationally ranked Heart Institute within Children's Colorado. The first stop within the Heart Institute is the Pediatric Cardiology Clinic. Learn more about the programs and clinics within the Heart Institute.