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Paediatric Cardiology

Paediatric Cardiology

Our team of dedicated paediatric cardiology specialists provides comprehensive cardiac care for children. With our expertise and compassionate approach, we aim to support you and your child through every step of your cardiac care journey.

Contact Melbourne Heart Care and make an appointment with one of our paediatric cardiologists today.

Meet our team of Paediatric cardiology specialists.

Our team of highly skilled doctors with subspecialty paediatric cardiology training have years of experience diagnosing and treating heart conditions in children. With a deep understanding of the unique needs of young patients, our experts offer personalised and evidence-based care, ensuring the highest quality treatment for your child.

Associate Professor Sarah Hope

Associate Professor Sarah Hope: Assoc Prof Hope is experienced and skilled in non-invasive cardiac imaging, such as echocardiogrpahy, for diagnosing and managing paediatric and adult congenital heart disease.

Doctor Ari Horton

Doctor Ari Horton: Dr Horton is a consultant paediatric cardiologist with years of clinical expertise. He provides holistic healthcare for adolescents and children with heart issues. He has also undertaken additional specialty training in clinical genetics.

What is Paediatric Cardiology?

Paediatric cardiology is a specialised branch of medicine focused on the diagnosis and management of heart conditions in children, babies, in utero (foetal cardiology), and young adolescents up to the age of 18.

A paediatric cardiologist is a heart specialist who has completed paediatric training and education in the area of cardiac medicine.

Common Paediatric heart conditions that we diagnose and treat

The paediatric cardiologist team at Melbourne Heart Care diagnoses and treats congenital and acquired cardiac disease and offers ongoing management of complex congenital heart disease in adults.

Paediatric Cardiology

Paediatric cardiac conditions are classified as congenital (birth defects) or acquired (occur after an illness or virus).

Congenital heart disease:

A congenital heart disease occurs when your child is born with a structural abnormality in their heart. There are several types:

  • An atrial or ventricular septal defect is a small hole in the wall between the chambers of your heart or in one of the blood vessels in the heart. You may have heard this referred to as “a hole in the heart”.
  • The blood vessels responsible for blood flowing to the heart may be too narrow or not in the correct position.
  • The heart valves may have problems, such as being too narrow or allowing blood to leak backward.

Acquired cardiac disease:

An acquired heart defect occurs after your child has been ill. There are several types of acquired heart diseases in children:

  • Myocarditis
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Kawasaki disease

Paediatric arrhythmias:

An abnormal rhythm in the heart is known as an arrhythmia. Our paediatric cardiology team can diagnose and treat:

  • Atrial arrhythmias
  • Ventricular arrhythmias
  • Bradyarrhythmias

How do we diagnose paediatric heart conditions?

Our paediatric cardiologist has extensive training and expertise in non-invasive cardiac imaging and tests to determine the heart health of your child.

Non-invasive diagnostic tests

These include echocardiography, electrocardiography (ECG), exercise stress tests, or cardiac imaging such as a cardiac MRI. These tests are safe, painless, and provide valuable insights into your child’s heart function.

Invasive diagnostic procedures

If our paediatric cardiologist indicates that your child may need an invasive procedure (such as interventional cardiac catheterisation procedures), you will be referred to the cardiology team at Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

What are the treatment and management options in paediatric cardiology?

At Melbourne Heart Care, we believe in a multidisciplinary approach to ensure the best outcomes for your child’s heart health. This collaborative approach means we draw on a collective pool of knowledge, skill, and experience for comprehensive treatment and management.

Medical management:

We carefully tailor medication regimens to address your child’s specific heart condition, ensuring optimal control and symptom relief.

Interventional cardiology and surgical intervention:

If your child needs invasive diagnostic procedures or surgical interventions, our paediatric cardiologist will refer you to the appropriate interventional cardiology team, such as at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

Paediatric rehabilitation and support

We provide ongoing support and guidance to assist your child in achieving optimal heart health and overall well-being.

Transitioning to adult cardiology care.

As your child grows older, they may no longer need to see a paediatric cardiologist. However, they may still need regular cardiac checkups. We facilitate a smooth transition and can refer you to one of our adult cardiologists.

Why choose Melbourne Heart Care for your child’s heart health?

At Melbourne Heart Care, our team of Paediatric cardiologist specialists offers comprehensive expertise in diagnosing and treating heart conditions in children. With personalised care tailored to each child’s unique needs, we prioritise multidisciplinary collaboration, working closely with cardiothoracic surgeons, paediatricians, other professionals, and the Royal Children’s Hospital to provide holistic care. Our dedicated team provides compassionate support throughout the journey, offering empathy, clear communication, and ongoing guidance. We guarantee the highest standard of care for your child’s heart health thanks to cutting-edge facilities and sophisticated diagnostic equipment.

Contact Information

Please don’t hesitate to contact us about your child’s heart health. The following methods are available for contacting our Brighton suite to make appointments:

  • Phone: 03 9592 2177
  • Fax: 03 9592 3177
  • Postal Address: Suite 16, 3 Male Street, Brighton 3186

Cardiac CT inquiries can be emailed to:

If you are a medical practice wanting to send a referral through, our preferred method is Argus:

General inquiries can be emailed to

Frequently Asked Questions

To become a paediatric cardiologist in Australia, you need to complete many years of specialised training. After finishing medical school, you’ll undergo a residency programme in paediatrics. Following that, you’ll need to undertake further training in paediatric cardiology through a fellowship programme. This comprehensive training equips paediatric cardiologists with the necessary knowledge and skills to diagnose and treat heart conditions in children.

The most common heart problems in children include congenital heart disease, acquired heart disease, and heart rhythm disorders. Congenital heart disease refers to heart abnormalities present at birth, while acquired heart disease develops after birth due to an illness. Heart rhythm disorders are when the heart doesn’t beat in a regular rhythm.

Although there are many different types of congenital heart disease, there are several main types: atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus, and tetralogy of Fallot. These conditions involve structural abnormalities in the heart or blood vessels that affect normal blood flow.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot, truncus arteriosus, coarctation of the aorta, interrupted aortic arch, and total anomalous pulmonary venous connection are the most dangerous birth defects of the heart. These defects require immediate medical attention or surgical intervention after birth, usually at The Royal Children’s Hospital.

The exact causes of heart defects are often unknown. However, some factors that may contribute to their development include genetic factors, certain medications or illnesses during pregnancy, maternal smoking or alcohol consumption, and environmental influences. Ongoing research is being conducted to better understand the causes of heart defects.

The impact of a heart defect on a child can vary depending on the specific condition and its severity. Some heart defects may cause mild symptoms or require minimal treatment, while others may require more intensive medical management or surgical intervention. Paediatric cardiologists work closely with families to develop personalised treatment plans and provide ongoing support to minimise the impact of the heart defect on a child’s daily life.

The most common congenital heart disease in children is a ventricular septal defect (VSD). VSD occurs when the two bottom chambers of your heart (the ventricles) have a hole in the wall that separates them. This can lead to abnormal blood flow and put strain on the heart, but with appropriate medical management or surgical repair, most children can lead healthy lives.

A paediatric cardiologist is a specialised doctor who focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions in children. They have undergone extensive training and have in-depth knowledge of paediatric cardiology. Paediatric cardiologists work closely with other medical professionals to provide comprehensive care for children with heart issues.

Yes, a paediatric cardiologist can perform various procedures as part of their practice. These can include diagnostic procedures, such as echocardiograms and electrocardiograms, and cardiac imaging, such as a cardiac MRI. However, interventional procedures, such as cardiac catheterisations or device implantations, or complex surgical procedures are typically performed by specialised cardiothoracic surgeons. This will usually happen at the Royal Children’s Hospital.