Children's Heart Center (supported by the Brave Heart Fund)
Welcome to the Children’s Heart Center (CHC) at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), a center dedicated to providing state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic techniques for pediatric and adult patients with congenital and acquired structural heart disease from Lebanon, the region, and beyond.
At the CHC, our multi-disciplinary team is committed to providing the best quality care in a supportive and family-friendly environment.
The Children’s Heart Center has grown over the past few years to become a major center caring for congenital heart disease in Lebanon. The team provides a full range of services from diagnostic techniques to interventional therapies and cardiac surgery. A multidisciplinary team applies a comprehensive sare in order to provide the best care for the sickest kids.
The team at the CHC specializes in:
The availability of this team of cardiac subspecialists makes it possible for patients with complex cardiac diseases to receive comprehensive care all in one location.
The Children's Heart Center at AUBMC provides a continuum of care to individuals from the fetus through adulthood. Our medical services and programs include clinical services for the diagnosis and treatment of congenital and acquired heart disease in infants and children. We believe in the team approach, and bring together diverse pediatric specialists under one roof to provide children with the best care.
The center provides the following medical services:
Non-invasive procedures include:
Invasive procedures include:
Close heart surgery
Open heart surgery
The Brave Heart Fund
The Brave Heart Fund was established at the Children's Heart Center, American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) in November 2003, by volunteers touched by Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). The Fund's goal is to help cover the cost of surgeries and hospitalization for needy children suffering from CHD, regardless of their race, sex or religion. The Brave Heart Fund also campaigns to build awareness about heart disease in children in order to encourage early detection, which can save lives.
Every year, 1 in 100 babies is born with CHD. In Lebanon alone, more than 600 babies are diagnosed with heart disease every year, about 400 of whom will need treatment. Unfortunately many families in Lebanon are compelled to postpone life-saving surgery because of a lack of funds, often destroying their hopes of a full recovery.
Since its inception, the Brave Heart Fund has covered treatment expenses for more than 1450children – the youngest just one day old. But much more needs to be done.
The Brave Heart Fund relies solely on philanthropic support and on the generosity of its donors so that: "No child should die from heart disease because of a lack of funds".
How You Can Help
|Fadi Bitar, MD
Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry
Director of the Children’s Heart Center, AUBMC
|Zahy Abdul Sater
|Bernard Abi-Saleh, MD
||Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
|Monita Al Darazi
|Zoheir Al Halees, MD
||Visiting Adjunct Professor of Surgery
|Maria Al Hajj
Administrator, Children’s Heart Center
Patient Relations Coordinator, Kristen Maria Fund- Brave Heart Fund
||Private Clinics Secretary
|Mariam Arabi, MD
Children’s Heart Center, AUBMC
Department of Anesthesiology
|Bicher Barmada, MD
||Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgery)
|Rana Chami, MD
Department of Anesthesiology
|Lama Charafeddine, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Director Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
|Karim Diab, MD
Children's Heart Center
|Roland Kaddoum, MD
||Department of Anesthesiology
|Maurice Khoury, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director Electrophysiology Laboratory
|Marianne Majdalani, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Director Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
|Samer Masri, MD
||Pediatric Cardiology Fellow
|Nabil Mounla, MD
|Georges Nemer, PHD
Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Director of the Congenital Heart Disease Genetic program
|Mounir Obeid, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery
Department of Anesthesiology, AUBMC
||Pediatric Echo Lab Technician
Fetal Cardiology Program at the Children's Heart Center
The Fetal Cardiology Program at the Children's Heart Center provides a comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis and management of pregnancies at-risk for fetal structural heart defects and rhythm disturbances. With the current advances in technology, the diagnosis of most cases of congenital heart disease has become readily available even before the infant is born. Early detection of such cardiac conditions in the unborn child allows for better coordination of the baby’s delivery, thus, leading to more appropriate care by our team of pediatric subspecialists.
We realize that the possibility of having a child with heart disease can be very stressful. Our team in the Fetal Cardiology Program will help you during this difficult time. Once you are seen by our team of specialists, you can expect the following:
Accurate evaluation and diagnosis of the fetal heart condition
Extensive explanation of the condition and the expected treatment needed during or after birth
Coordination of the delivery of the baby with your obstetrician
Availability to care for the baby immediately after birth with a team that is already familiar with your baby’s condition
Fetal Cardiology Program services include:
Direct referrals accepted from obstetricians, family practitioners, perinatologists or other specialists taking care of the unborn child.
Consultation for pregnancies with fetus at-risk for cardiac defects including abnormal maternal serum screening; abnormal obstetric ultrasound; late or early maternal age; maternal intake of potentially teratogenic medications or drugs; lupus, diabetes, family history of cardiac disorder or genetic disease; abnormalities of other fetal organ systems.
Fetal echocardiogram. This test involves the use of an ultrasound machine specially equipped for use in cardiac imaging.
Diagnosis and management of fetal arrhythmias.
If desired, consultation with other members of the Children's Heart Center or other subspecialists for services including cardiothoracic surgery, maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology, genetics and social services.
The program is headed by Dr. Karim Diab, a fetal and pediatric cardiologist with extensive expertise in diagnosing and managing cardiac disease in the fetus.
For Patients and visitors
Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the abnormal development of the heart and is the most common birth defect and the leading cause of death in the first year of life. Every year, one out of every one hundred babies is born with Congenital Heart Disease. In Lebanon, more than 600 babies are diagnosed with heart disease every year. About 400 of these children will need some form of treatment, either utilizing surgical intervention or the use of newly available non-surgical procedures such as catheter-based therapy, coils, stents and implantable devices. If untreated, about seventy percent of babies with complex CHD will not live to see their first birthday, but with advanced and appropriate treatment, more than ninety-five percent of these children will go on to lead normal lives.
Most children are referred to a pediatric cardiologist after a heart murmur has been detected. When a murmur is heard, it does not necessarily mean that the child is suffering from a heart lesion, yet this possibility needs to be ruled out by a pediatric cardiologist. Another common complaint leading to referral to a pediatric cardiologist is chest pain. Just like the heart murmur, the chest pain does not necessarily mean that the child will be diagnosed with heart disease.
The team at the Children’s Heart Center, AUBMC, aims to treat children, adolescents and adults with CHD from Lebanon, the region, and beyond, who are suffering from heart disease by offering a complete range of diagnostic, interventional, and surgical procedures. Our team of specialists offers state-of-the-art pediatric cardiovascular care, beginning with a comprehensive evaluation that allows us to understand your child's heart problem fully. Parents and caregivers are key members of the child's healthcare team, and we work closely with you and with your child's referring physicians to implement the best plan of care. Our treatment plan takes advantage of the most advanced medical therapies, as well as cutting-edge interventions in cardiology and open-heart surgery procedures.
There are two categories of heart disease:
Making an appointment:
If your child needs to be evaluated for heart disease, you can contact us between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 01-350000
You can also call this number to:
Confirm or reschedule an appointment
Refill a prescription
Speak with a Cardiovascular Program nurse
Get directions to the hospital
Helpful Resources For Patients and Parents
For Medical Proffessionals
How to refer a patient:
The pediatric cardiology team at the Children's Heart Center at has extensive expertise in caring for infants and children with congenital heart disease. We offer a variety of evaluation, diagnosis and management consultation services as well as for providing a continuum of care for children, adolescents and adults with heart disease.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, refer a patient, or get a second opinion, please contact our team of specialists at 01-3500000 and ask for a pediatric cardiology specialist.
Medical resources and helpful Links
American Heart Association
Congenital Heart Defect Resources
Congenital Heart Information Network
Congenital Heart Defect Support Group
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Velo-Cardio-Facial / Di-George Syndrome
Research and advances
The Congenital Heart Disease Genetic Program (CHDGP) at the American University of Beirut started in 2002 with the DNA extraction from patients with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) registered at the Children’s Cardiac Registry Center (CCRC). The CCRC has today more than 1500 patients which were treated at the Children’s Heart Center by Dr. Fadi Bitar and his colleagues.
The aim of the CHDGP is to screen the genome for mutations that can cause CHD in patients and ultimately to seek prevention and therapy. The group is headed by Dr. Georges Nemer and co-directed by Dr. Fadi Bitar. Together they succeeded in recruiting more than 15 students in the last 6 years to do a M.Sc thesis in Biochemistry as well as training Medical students and M.D. graduates. The program has received funds from local and international funding agencies and published novel findings in prestigious journals like Human Mutation and Clinical Genetics.
Recently the Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research (DHFMR) has awarded the program more than $ 1 million for five years as part of a collaborative network consortium aiming at deciphering the genetics of congenital disease in the Middle-East. This network includes partners across the Gulf region and the prestigious group of Christine Seidman at the Harvard Medical School in Boston.
For more info about researches and advance at the CHC, please visit the CHDGP website
For further information, kindly contact us on one of the following:
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Children's Heart Center
Riad El-Solh Beirut 1107-2020
Beirut - Lebanon
Location: AUBMC, Phase I, 6th floor, rooms: 614 - 616 - 620
Telephone: +961 1 374374 or +961 1 350000
o Private Clinics: 5870
o Echo Lab: 5881
o Brave Heart Fund Office: 5889
Fax: +961 1 370781