Fetal & Neonatal Cardiology

The Fetal and Neonatal Cardiology Program, headed by Sheetal Patel, MD, ensures that families expecting a new baby with heart concerns receive the best diagnostic and counseling care available. 

Our fetal/neonatal heart care team, which includes specialists from the Heart Center and The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health, evaluates fetuses of mothers with health conditions such as diabetes, lupus and Sjögren syndrome, which can affect heart development. We also treat a wide range of fetal and neonatal heart conditions, including:

  • Congenital heart defects ranging from septal defects to hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmia)
  • Prenatal heart failure (hydrops)

The Heart Center provides specialized ultrasound imaging of the heart during pregnancy (fetal echocardiography). Each year our pediatric cardiologists perform more than 2,000 fetal echocardiograms at multiple sites in the greater Chicago area, with a diagnostic accuracy that exceeds 95%. The pediatric cardiologist is able to provide immediate results to the mother at the time of the scan.

Our partnership with Prentice Women's Hospital allows Lurie Children’s to offer complete heart care for expectant mothers’ babies as well as newborn infants. Prentice is connected to Lurie Children's by a bridged walkway. This proximity enables our cardiology team to intervene early in cases of complex heart disease and provide a seamless transfer of the newborn’s care to the Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit at Lurie Children’s.

Our cardiac surgical team at Lurie Children’s is supported by neonatologists, dedicated cardiac anesthesiologists and our team of cardiac intensivists. We participate in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons database, and our surgical outcomes are in the top 5% of 111 participating programs in the United States and Canada. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons also rated Lurie Children’s as a 3-Star hospital, the highest rating level awarded, in their Fall 2017 Harvest Report of the STS Congenital Cardiac Surgery Database.

Our Fetal Cardiac Nurse Coordinator Nicole Heilemann ensures that families have access to the cardiac team throughout the pregnancy, and the support and resoures needed. To contact Nicole, please email fetalhealth@luriechildrens.org

The Lurie Children's Difference

The Heart Center at Lurie Children’s offer services that are not widely available elsewhere, including:

What to Expect

At your first appointment, you can expect to receive a fetal echocardiogram. A pediatric cardiologist will perform this heart ultrasound and will discuss the findings and treatment options with you immediately after the scan. The pediatric cardiologist also will discuss the test results with your obstetrician and coordinate any needed treatment.

Comprehensive Fetal Care Consultations

If an abnormality is identified on prenatal screening, a comprehensive fetal care consultation to discuss anticipated surgery or other care after birth can be arranged at Lurie Children's through The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health. This consultation will be arranged with the cardiac specialists who will be involved in your child’s care after birth. In addition to a cardiologist, this team may include a cardiac surgeon, cardiac critical care specialist and neonatologist. The specialists will discuss and coordinate the best treatment plan for your baby after birth, and may review anticipated procedures, expected length of stay and anticipated surgical results. Our specialty programs offer a multi-disciplinary team of specialists committed to the best outcomes. For an example of what this care journey could include, please refer to the Comprehensive Single Ventricle Fetal Roadmap

Our Specialists


Back row (from left): Amy S. Lay, MD; Bridget Zoeller, MD; George R. Verghese, MD, MBA; Angira Patel, MD, MPH; Front row (from left): Joy T. Johnson, MD, MS; Sheetal Patel, MD, MSCI; Sandhya R. Ramlogan, MD; Michael Carr, MD

Our multidisciplinary team includes the following groups:

Fetal/neonatal pediatric cardiologists: Michael Carr, MD; Kelly Cox, MD; Nina L. Gotteiner, MDNazia Husain, MD; Joy T. Johnson, MD, MS; Amy S. Lay, MDAngira Patel, MD; Sheetal Patel, MD; Sandhya R. Ramlogan, MDGeorge R. Verghese, MD, MBA​; and Bridget Zoeller, MD. All are board-certified pediatric cardiologists with extensive experience in fetal and neonatal imaging and care.

The Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit specialistsBradley S. Marino, MDKiona Allen, MD; Erin Bressler, MDCatherine Collins, MDConrad Epting, MDMary McBride, MD; Karl Migally, MDAmy O'Connor, DO; Jamie Penk, MD; and Eric Wald, MD.

Neonatologists: Headed by Meghan Coghlan, MD

Pediatric heart surgeons: Osama Eltayeb, MD; and Michael Mongé, MD. All are board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons with additional certification in congenital cardiovascular surgery.

Dedicated pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists: The Lurie Children's Heart Center is home to the only anesthesia program in Illinois where each anesthesiologist is board-certified and fellowship-trained in pediatric anesthesia. ​Learn more

Our team routinely collaborates with pediatric experts at Lurie Children’s in areas such as:

Make an Appointment

In addition to in-person visits, we now offer telemedicine visits via video or phone. Some appointments will still require you to be seen in-person, but your physician and care team will let you know if a telemedicine appointment is available.

For Fetal Patients
To make an appointment with The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health​ or for a second opinion about in utero heart defects, please call 1.866.338.2524 (1.866.FETAL24) or e-mail fetalhealth@luriechildrens.org

For Infants/Children
Those desiring a second opinion about treating infants and children with heart defects should call Silvana Illescas at 312.227.4240.

For Physicians 
For urgent consultations, MFMs or pediatric cardiologists can reach our specialists by calling 1.866.338.2524 (1.866.FETAL24) or emailing fetalhealth@luriechildrens.org​

Heart Center Family Resource Guide

To help prepare families for their care with Lurie Children's Heart Center, we have compiled a list of resources that may be of use throughout treatment — whether it's getting ready for an inpatient stay or outpatient visit, or learning more about the support services available to patients and families.

Training & Education

Our team is dedicated to improving education for obstetricians and maternal fetal medicine specialists to increase prenatal detection of congenital heart defects. To help achieve this goal, we offer regional and national CME events to train other providers in fetal echocardiography. Learn more about our past Fetal Echocardiography Workshop

Each year, we also host Fetology Chicago: Practice & Discovery, an educational program focused on the multi-disciplinary approach to evaluation, care and intervention for a spectrum of congenital diseases, including congenital heart disease. Learn more.