The pediatric echocardiography laboratory UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital is a full-service, state of the art imaging program providing all facets of congenital cardiac imaging. We perform approximately 4500 echocardiograms/year including newborns, children, and young adults with congenital heart disease.
The laboratory staff includes the medical director, Gary M Satou, MD FASE, Greg Perens, MD, Mark Sklansky MD and several other staff cardiologists. There are four full time pediatric cardiac sonographers with expertise and specialty training in congenital cardiac echocardiography, including the principal cardiac sonographer Karen Ambrowitz RDCS. As well, Ms Lynn Tuchan is our lead administrative assistant.
Digitization of the UCLA pediatric echocardiography laboratory occurred in 2001 and includes imaging acquisition, reporting, and storage. As well, the lab maintains advanced equipment and first-rate ultrasound technology for the performance of 2D and Doppler transthoracic imaging, tissue Doppler analysis, and 3D echocardiography. Several stand-alone, desktop software systems for offline use are available for advanced 3D and myocardial deformation/strain evaluation.
Advanced pediatric echocardiography services also include transesophageal echocardiography. Several different machines and transesophageal probes are uniquely equipped to image the heart of our children and patients who are undergoing interventional cardiac procedures in the catheterization laboratory or cardiovascular surgery in the operating rooms. This modality is very important in optimizing outcomes in pediatric cardiac therapy and generally provides superior imaging quality for most anatomic areas of the heart. We have very specialized probe technology that enables TEE imaging to be performed in babies as well as incorporating 3D TEE technology in patients over 15-20 kilograms.
In addition to clinical echocardiography, our physicians are involved in clinical research and teaching. Seven pediatric cardiology fellows rotate through the pediatric echocardiography laboratory learning both basic and advanced imaging skills. Weekly didactic lectures are provided covering the breadth of congenital cardiac lesions with an emphasis on imaging. The weekly pediatric cardiology/cardiovascular surgery joint patient conference is organized for presentation by our laboratory staff and fellows.
A close relationship exists with the adult echocardiography and congenital heart disease service in conjunction with Dr's John Child and Jamil Aboulhosn.
Gary Satou, MD, Director