Fetal Cardiac Program
Working Together to Ensure the Best Possible Outcome for Your Unborn Baby With Heart Disease
Fetal Cardiac Program
Here at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, we pride ourselves on our world-class physicians and our nationally-recognized team of researchers and departments of pediatric medicine. A child not yet born is just as important to us. We work tirelessly to find innovative and aggressive treatment plans for every child who comes through our doors, even if he/she is not yet born. Our fetal echocardiograms will help you determine the condition of your child’s heart and what steps will be necessary upon birth in order to ensure that your baby has the best quality of life.
Fetal Cardiac Specialty Clinic
Our physicians and specialists work collaboratively to provide you and your baby with as much compassionate and comfortable care as is deserved. Departments of genetics, nutrition, social services, surgery, and maternal-fetal medicine are all included in your treatment plan, ensuring that your baby is receiving the best medical treatment, even before birth.
At your first visit, you will undergo a fetal echocardiogram and meet with a cardiologist about the results. You will also be given in-depth educational materials to read about your baby’s condition and the steps to take next. As a team, we will determine what other specialties should be included in your care and work comprehensively with them to help you deliver a baby with the best possible care.
Fetal Cardiac Information
Fetal echocardiograms utilize state-of-the-art technology to detect, monitor, and manage heart defects in a child, prior to that child’s birth. The goal of fetal echocardiograms is to start treatment for heart diseases and malformations as early as possible, increasing the potential for a long life for each child. This form of detection is performed similarly to an ultrasound and each one is read by a cardiologist who specializes in fetal heart defects. Once our cardiologists determine a fetal heart defect, we will work closely with you and your OB/GYN to monitor the health of you and your baby, ensuring safety and world-class care. Common reasons for referral for fetal echocardiography to screen for heart defects include exposure to some drugs in early pregnancy, abnormal fetal heart rhythm, family history, etc.
Fetal Cardiac Team
Our expert team cares for your baby before birth and throughout their life, with one primary pediatric cardiologist managing each child’s treatment. We have an entire team dedicated to diagnosing and caring for babies with congenital heart disease. This team works together to make individualized care plans with the goal of providing superior outcomes, even in the most complex cases.
This team includes:
- Pediatric cardiologists
- Pediatric interventional cardiologists
- Fetal sonographers
- Maternal fetal medicine specialists
- Genetic counselors
- Nurse practitioners
- Fetal care patient navigators
- Social workers
- Cardiothoracic intensive care team
Meet Our Team
Karen M. Texter, MD, is Director of Fetal Echocardiography at The Heart Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Her special interests include echocardiography in congenital and acquired heart disease, and fetal cardiology.
Aimee Armstrong, MD, is the Director of Cardiac Catheterization & Interventional Therapies at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Her research interests include pediatric and fetal interventional cardiology, clinical trials in congenital interventional catheterization and innovations research for pediatric cardiac catheterization.
Becky Corbitt, RN, MSN, CNL is the nurse coordinator of the Fetal Medicine Clinic. This Nationwide Children's clinic is a part of the Ohio Fetal Medicine Collaborative. In her role, Becky helps families whose babies have a birth defect prepare for delivery and treatment after the baby is born. She works with the physicians who lead and conduct the clinic. She also works with parents and their referring physicians to coordinate the care of the baby. Becky graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science degree. She received her Master's Degree in nursing at Otterbein College. Becky's passion for prenatal and neonatal nursing complements her experience.
Fetal Cardiac Intervention
In some cases, our expert team can treat your baby’s heart defect before birth. Fetal cardiac intervention is a complex procedure that can help lessen the severity or slow the progression of a heart condition. This may lead to fewer complications at birth and better short- and long-term outcomes for your child. Our dedicated fetal cardiac intervention team can treat conditions such as:
- Aortic stenosis with evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) with intact or highly restrictive atrial septum
- Pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum
- Fetal Echocardiography Information
- A Guide to Fetal Echocardiography
In the News
A mother and her 29-week-old unborn child are doing well after a team of physicians performed a successful in utero procedure at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (UH Rainbow) last week.
If you have questions about fetal cardiac intervention, please contact the Fetal Cardiac Intervention team at 1-866-929-2099.
If you are a physician and want to refer a patient, please complete our online cardiology request an appointment form. Select "Fetal Cardiac" from the reasons for referral list.
For Patients and Families
If you would like to contact our team for a second opinion, please complete our medical inquiry form.
Fetal Intervention Featured on The Doctors
Learn how our innovative approach to fetal interventions for heart conditions improved the outcome of a patient featured The Doctors TV show.