Andrew Atz, MD
Interim Chair, Department of Pediatrics
The Children’s Heart Center of South Carolina is the only tertiary care pediatric cardiology referral center for the Children’s Heart Program of South Carolina, a consortium of all the pediatric cardiology practitioners in the state. South Carolina has approximately 4.5 million residents and 60,000 deliveries per year. The Children’s Heart Program members and MUSC care for over 90% of South Carolina's children with cardiac issues, including over 350 cardiac surgeries per year performed at MUSC. The majority of MUSC’s surgical volume comes from South Carolina residents, who are referred to MUSC by Children’s Heart Program cardiologists. This collaborative program allows children with heart defects to be treated as locally as possible, and also allows children who need special procedures to be treated at MUSC and return home for ongoing treatment by their local provider, improving coordinated follow-up. Surgeries include the full range of complex lesions, including hybrid procedures that involve real-time collaboration between interventionalists and surgeons. In 2010, over 600 catheterizations and 7500 echocardiograms were performed. The clinical space used for Heart Center activities includes a 12-bed Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, a 14-bed inpatient ward, 2 digital catheterization suites and a dedicated outpatient clinic area. The Pediatric Echocardiography laboratory has been fully ICAEL-accredited since 2001, and includes four scanning rooms and six state-of-the-art echocardiography machines, including 3D echocardiography.
MUSC Children’s Heart Center’s comprehensive cardiac program has consistently been named one of the top pediatric heart centers in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Our 99 percent 30-day survival rate following complex cardiac surgery ranks us among the best centers in the world and in the top group of U.S. News elite centers.
The Division of Pediatric Cardiology at MUSC has a long history of successful scientific investigation, which extends from participation in a host of device trials, industry sponsored drug trials, several national and international registries and locally designed clinical protocols. These efforts have culminated in inclusion of MUSC as one of 8 national centers in the NIH-NHLBI sponsored Pediatric Heart Disease Clinical Network, since its inception in 2001. Pediatric Cardiology faculty currently lead over 50 active, IRB-approved clinical trials. Over a recent 5 year period, our faculty authored or co-authored 167 peer reviewed papers, 27 chapters, presented 122 abstracts and delivered over 275 invited talks. This is a remarkable amount of demonstrated research commitment for a pediatric cardiology faculty of this size.
The U.S. News & World Report rankings place the MUSC Children’s Hospital heart program among the top 20 in the country. Six MUSC Children’s Hospital divisions are honored in the rankings: