Heart Failure

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Le Bonheur Children’s Heart Institute offers the most advanced treatment options for children, adolescents and adults with complex and uncorrectable congenital or acquired heart disease, including cardiomyopathies.

Heart failure is a term that means the heart does not sufficiently pump enough blood throughout the body. Treatment can vary from medication to the implantation of devices, like a ventricular assist device (VAD), and heart transplantation.

Smiling Heart Failure patient at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital

Why Le Bonheur Children’s?

  • Our Heart Transplant program, led by Medical Director Jeffrey A. Towbin, MD, and Surgical Director Umar Boston, MD, is approved by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
  • The average survival rates of heart surgeries at Le Bonheur are considerably higher than the national average.

 Heart Failure specialist Dr. Towbin speaking to a co-worker at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital

Heart Failure Team

The program offers individualized care by a multidisciplinary team that includes:

  • specially-trained pediatric cardiologists
  • pediatric cardiovascular transplant surgeons
  • cardiac intensivists
  • cardiac rehabilitation specialists
  • cardiac physiologists
  • cardiac catheterization and intervention specialists
  • electrophysiologists
  • specialists in non-invasive imaging including cardiac MRI and echocardiography
  • pharmacists
  • nurse practitioners and nurses

Meet our team members.


We are committed to finding new and better ways to treat children with uncorrectable congenital heart disease. Research focuses include:


  • Future treatments in children with cardiomyopathy and heart failure
    We are working to learn more about transplant rejection and viral causes of myocarditis, cardiomyopathies and transplant coronary disease.
  • Clinical trials
    We are participants in multi-center and single center clinical trials of heart failure and transplant therapies.


  • Genetic testing and gene discovery
    Our researchers are working to discover more about the mechanisms and genes responsible for cardiomyopathy and other causes of heart failure in children.
  • Cardiac MRI analysis
    Our researchers are investigating the use of cardiac MRI for evaluation of cardiomyopathy type, inflammation and scar formation, as well as prognosis and risk stratification.
  • Metabolic features of cardiomyopathies
    Investigators are working to uncover the metabolic features of cardiomyopathies and their diagnostic role as biomarkers and disease mechanisms.
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
    Working closely with Le Bonheur's exercise physiologists, we are learning more about the role of cardiac rehabilitation in patients with heart failure and post-transplant.
  • Acquired cardiomyopathies
    Researchers are looking into the various causes of acquired forms of cardiomyopathies and heart failure, some of which include cancer therapies, disease/myocarditis due to viruses and transplant rejection.
  • Artificial intelligence in diagnosis
    We are investigating the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in early diagnosis, prediction of progression and outcomes in patients with cardiomyopathies, heart failure and heart transplants.