Mary Donofrio, MD Cardiologist



Mary T. Donofrio, MD, is a full-time attending in cardiology, Director of the Fetal Heart Program, and Co-director of Echocardiography. Under her leadership, the Children’s National Health System team treats the fetus as an individual patient, and specialized care begins before birth.

With her vision, she expanded the Fetal Heart Program to include the Washington, DC, region’s only First Trimester Fetal Cardiac Imaging Program, where we can detect heart abnormalities in high-risk pregnancies as early as 12 weeks gestation.

Dr. Donofrio specializes in fetal diagnosis and in-utero management of congenital heart disease, first trimester fetal cardiac imaging, fetal echocardiography, pediatric transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, delivery room management and transitional care for complex disease, and complex congenital heart disease management.

She also plays a leadership role in our echocardiography laboratory and serves as director of the Advanced Cardiac Imaging fellowship.

Dr. Donofrio joined the staff at Children’s National after spending nine years at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, directing the echocardiography laboratory. She completed her cardiology fellowship training at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and performed advanced training in fetal echocardiography at Yale University. Dr. Donofrio is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Society of Echocardiography.

Her research has focused on autoregulation of cerebral blood flow in fetuses with congenital heart disease. She is a national expert in the areas of fetal cardiology, echocardiology, and pediatric cardiology. Dr. Donofrio was on several journal editorial boards, research committees, and has published over 50 papers and abstracts.

Dr. Donofrio is married and has two children. She grew up in Delaware and currently resides in Northern Virginia. Her interests include the theater and music.

Education & Training

Education & Training

  • MD, 1989
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • BA, 1985
    Johns Hopkins University
Patient Stories

Patient Stories: Mary Donofrio, MD

Dylan C.'s Story

"The heart team at Children's National was excellent. We felt like we were in the right place and our son was in the right hands. There is no substitute for this . . . none."

Ryan's Story

Ryan was born with a rare condition -- his heart developed outside his body. Find out how Children's doctors worked together to help Ryan thrive.

Whisper's Story

"I hope if anything, you find the positive in your situation and believe in your child's doctors and team at Children's National. They have been there for us through so much and we couldn't have asked for a better experience than we had during this life-changing event."

Alexis's Story

"She likes to show off her scar and tell whoever listens that Children's National fixed her heart."

Brayden's Story

"The world of congenital heart defects is scary, but to know that there are people like those at Children's National to help guide you along the way is very comforting."

Austin's Story

"People always tell me 'You're so strong, I don't know how you got through it.' I like to say that you never know how strong you are or what you are capable of until you have no choice but to be strong." 

Camdyn's Story

"The nurses, techs, and doctors at Children's National were absolutely amazing. They were always professional, compassionate, and kind. Each person there touched us in ways that are unimaginable."

Sarah's Story

"I know how difficult it is, when you don't have all the answers, and are not getting much sleep in the hospital with your child. I want to assure you that the answers will come."

Janaya's Story

"The one thing that helps is to talk about what you are feeling, cry if you need to, always be involved in your child's care, and ask questions if you don't understand."



Prenatal Care

Children's National Experts Discuss Importance of Fetal Cardiology Subspecialty to Fetal Medicine

Earlier this year, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a scientific statement on the diagnosis and treatment of fetal cardiac disease written by a team of cardiac and obstetrical experts with lead author, Mary T. Donofrio, MD, Director of the Fetal Heart Program and Medical Director of the Critical Care Delivery Program for the Fetal Medicine Institute at Children’s National Health System.

Research & Publications

Research & Publications

Fetal and Neonatal Arrhythmias Association with Maternal Diabetes and Neonatal Macrosomia

(2008) Journal of Perinatology

Autoregulation of Cerebral Blood Flow in Fetuses with Congenital Heart Disease The Brain Sparing Effect A Multicenter Study

(2003) Pediatric Cardiology

Diagnosis and Management of Restricted or Closed Foramen Ovale in Fetuses with Congenital Heart Disease

(2004) American Journal of Cardiology

Complete Heart Block Fetal Management Protocol Review of the Literature and Report of the Smallest Successful Pacemaker Implantation

(2004) Journal of Perinatology

Impact of Congenital Heart Disease and Surgical Intervention on Neurodevelopment

(2009) Hemodynamics and Cardiology: Neonatal Questions and Controversies

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Julyan's Story

"When we go to doctor visits, the staff always remembers Juju. They make you feel at home, talk to you about everything, and listen. Children's National is a great hospital. "

Read More of Julyan's Story