What Are Arrhythmias?

Arrhythmias are any abnormality of the heart’s electrical system. Typically the heart has a very ordered and precise electrical process to pump blood through the heart to the lungs and then through the remainder of the heart and out to the body. This process happens 60 to 160 times per minute every minute of every day for more than 90 years. For most people, there are never any mistakes in this process.

The electrical impulse inside the heart starts in a cluster of cells called the sinoatrial node. This electrical impulse then travels through the atria, or collecting chambers of the heart, toward the cluster of cells between the atria and the ventricles, or pumping chambers of the heart. This cluster of cells is called the atrioventricular node. This cluster of cells regulates the electrical “communication” between the atria and the ventricles.

Since arrhythmias are any abnormality of this electrical system, there are an innumerable amount of them. They can be a totally safe small difference from the normal or a very significant electrical disturbance that greatly affects a child.

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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Arrhythmias?

  • Chest pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Palpitations

How Arrhythmias Are Treated

The Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital has extensive experience treating infants from across the world that have arrhythmias. Treatment is individualized to the child’s specific anatomy, age, size and other associated cardiac conditions.

One arrhythmia, called catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia is brought on during exercise and stress. It is a genetic disorder that occurs in multiple family members. The arrhythmia is an abnormal electrical impulse of the ventricle. This is treated with exercise restriction, certain medications, and with surgery in the right circumstances.

Our Innovative Approach to Arrhythmias

Innovations at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the treatment of truncus arteriosus include:

  • Surgical strategies for children with the highest risk subtypes to optimize outcomes
  • Catheter based techniques for smaller children
  • Minimally invasive surgical techniques for pacemakers and sympathetic denervations
  • “Hybrid” collaborations between electrophysiology and cardiac surgery

Why Choose the Children’s Heart Institute?

At Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, patients with congenital or acquired heart disorders receive hands-on specialized care 24/7 from a team of affiliated physicians and specialty-trained nurses who aim to deliver the best possible outcomes.

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital was named one of the top 50 best children's hospitals nationally in Cardiology & Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report, and Children’s Heart Institute earned the distinguished three-star rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for patient care and outcomes in congenital heart surgery. As one of only 12 three-star programs, Children’s Heart Institute ranks among the elite in the United States and Canada for congenital heart surgery.

In collaboration with various subspecialties, the affiliated team provides comprehensive care for newborns, children and adolescents, with the ability to transition into adult congenital cardiac care. Team members have the experience and skills necessary to offer innovative treatment methods and specialized services, including, but not limited to:

  • Biventricular repairs and biventricular conversions
  • Congenital heart optimization
  • Full repairs for complex congenital heart defects in newborns
  • Hybrid catheterization and surgical procedures
  • Minimally invasive transcatheter pulmonary valve (TPV) therapy
  • Minimally invasive axillary repair (cosmetic right axillary thoracotomy for transatrial repair)
  • Treatment for adult congenital heart disease
  • Valve repairs and preservation

With the Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a dedicated Children’s Heart Institute Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, critical heart patients have access to quality, specialized care. By utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, the team at Children’s Heart Institute strives to offer patients with the most complex problems the greatest opportunity for a normal life.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, use the online tool below to help us connect with you. To refer a patient or schedule an appointment, please contact our clinic using the information below.

  • Pediatric Cardiology Clinic
    The University of Texas Health Science Center Professional Building
    6410 Fannin, Suite 370
    Houston, TX 77030
    Phone: (713) 486-6755 (Appointment Line)
     
  • Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery Clinic
    The University of Texas Health Science Center Professional Building
    6410 Fannin, Suite 370
    Houston, TX 77030
    Phone: (713) 500-5746
    CMHH-Heart@memorialhermann.org

To contact Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, please fill out the form below.

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You!

Thank you for contacting the Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. We have received your inquiry, and a team member will contact you soon.

If you need more immediate assistance, please call us during business hours at (713) 486-6755.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

The Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is affiliated with the physicians at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the UT Physicians Pediatric Outpatient Clinics across Greater Houston. Affiliated physicians evaluate patients at UT Physicians clinic locations and perform all inpatient procedures and treatments at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.