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Elizabeth Vickers Saarel, M.D.



  • English

Clinical Details


Schedule An Appointment Clinical Office Address
(801) 662-5400 PCH Outpatient Services at Riverton
3773 West 12600 South
Riverton, UT 84065
(801) 662-5400 Primary Children's Hospital
100 N Mario Capecchi Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84113


Elizabeth “Tess” Saarel, MD is a member of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Primary Children´s Medical Center. Her subspecialty is electrophysiology. She sees patients with all forms of congenital heart disease from infancy through late adolescence in the general cardiology clinic at Primary Children’s Medical Center and at an outreach clinic in Pocatello ID. Dr. Saarel's research interest is focused on arrhythmias.

Board Certification and Academic Information

Academic Departments Pediatrics - Associate Professor (Clinical)
Academic Divisions Pediatric Cardiology
Board Certification American Board of Pediatrics (Sub: Ped Cardiology)
International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (Physician/EP)
National Board of Medical Examiners

Academic Profile

Board Certification and Academic Information

Academic Departments Pediatrics - Associate Professor (Clinical)
Academic Divisions Pediatric Cardiology
Board Certification American Board of Pediatrics (Sub: Ped Cardiology)
International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (Physician/EP)
National Board of Medical Examiners

Academic Office Locations

Academic Office Phone Number Academic Office Address
Williams Building
Pediatric Administration
295 Chipeta Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Academic Bio

Elizabeth “Tess” Vickers Saarel, M.D. is the Director for Electrophysiology in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics. In this capacity she oversees the management of children and adolescents and adult patients with congenital heart disease at Primary Children’s Medical Center, the University of Utah and other Intermountain Healthcare facilities. Dr. Saarel is active in the education of medical students, residents and fellows training at these medical facilities and at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Dr. Saarel’s research interests include the diagnosis and treatment, the prevention of sudden cardiac death, and quality improvement in the care of children, adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease with cardiac arrhythmias. She has co-authored 15 peer-reviewed scientific publications, over 30 scientific abstracts, review articles and book chapters including a chapter in Clinical Cardiac Pacing and Defibrillation. She has been the primary investigator for both current and post grant funding.

Dr. Saarel completed her undergraduate education at Princeton University, where she graduated Cum Laude. She received her M.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society and received American Heart Association and Korenman Merit scholarships. Dr. Saarel also received an O’Malley Prize in the History of Medicine at UCLA. After completing postgraduate training in Pediatrics at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital of Case Western University she practiced general pediatrics for five years and served as an Instructor in Pediatrics at New York Medical College. She then returned for in-depth training in cardiology and electrophysiology at the University of Michigan Medical Center and University of Michigan School of Medicine in Ann Arbor. As a Fellow in Cardiology she received several awards including the Amgen Fellow Award for Clinical Research.

Dr. Saarel was faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Medicine (Pediatric Cardiology), The Cleveland Clinic (Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Electrophysiology) and Case Western University School of Medicine (Electrophysiology) before joining the University of Utah School of Medicine in 2005. In Utah, Dr. Saarel has remained active in the clinical care of patients, including cardiac ablation and cardiac device implantation in children, adolescents and adult patients with congenital heart disease, in addition to her research and educational endeavors. She was promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine in 2009.

Dr. Saarel is active in multiple regional, national and international medical societies. She is currently is a member of the Pediatric and Adult Congenital Electrophysiology Society, a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a member of American College of Cardiology Working Group in Quality Improvement, a member of the Heart Rhythm Society, a member of the American Heart Association, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She serves on several committees at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Medical Center.


Education History

Type School Degree
Certification University of Utah David Eccles School of Business
Leadership Development for Healthcare Professionals, Healthcare Business Administration
Post Graduate Training Intermountain Healthcare
Health Care Delivery Improvement / Quality Improvement
Post Graduate Training American Association of Medical Colleges
Professional Development
Post Graduate Training University of Utah and Intermountain Primary Children's Medical Center
Clinical and Translational Research
Fellowship University of Michigan
Pediatric Cardiology
Residency Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital
Internship Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital
Professional Medical University of California - Los Angeles
Undergraduate Princeton University
Biology Major, History of Science Minor


Selected Provider Publications

Journal Article

  1. Collins KK, Schaffer MS, Liberman L, Saarel E, Knecht M, Tanel RE, Bradley D, Dubin AM, Paul T, Salerno J, Bar-Cohen Y, Sreeram N, Sanatani S, Law IH, Blaufox A, Batra A, Moltedo JM, van Hare GF, Reed J, Ro PS, Kugler J, Anderson C, Triedman J(2013)Fascicular and nonfascicular left ventricular tachycardias in the young: an international multicenter study.  Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, 24(6),640-8
  2. Kamp AN, Von Bergen NH, Henrikson CA, Makhoul M, Saarel EV, Lapage MJ, Russell MW, Strieper M, Yu S, Dick M, Day SM, Bradley D(2013)Implanted defibrillators in young hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients: a multicenter study.  Pediatric Cardiology, 34(7),1620-7
  3. Seslar SP, Kugler J, Batra AS, Collins KK, Crosson J, Dubin AM, Etheridge S, Kanter R, Papez A, Radbill AE, Serwer GA, Tanel RE, Tsao S, Webster G, Saarel E(2013)The Multicenter Pediatric and Adult Congenital EP Quality (MAP-IT) Initiative-rationale and design: report from the pediatric and congenital electrophysiology society's MAP-IT taskforce.  Congenital Heart Disease, 8(5),381-92
  4. Lampert R, Olshansky B, Heidbuchel H, Lawless C, Saarel E, Ackerman M, Calkins H, Estes NA, Link MS, Maron BJ, Marcus F, Scheinman M, Wilkoff BL, Zipes DP, Berul CI, Cheng A, Law I, Loomis M, Barth C, Brandt C, Dziura J, Li F, Cannom (2013)Safety of sports for athletes with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators: results of a prospective, multinational registry.  Circulation, 127(20),2021-30
  5. Das S, Law IH, Von Bergen NH, Bradley DJ, Dick M 2nd, Etheridge SP, Saarel EV, Frias PA, Strieper MJ, Fischbach P(2012)Cryoablation therapy for atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia in children: a multicenter experience of efficacy.  Pediatric Cardiology, 33(7),1147-53
  6. Ouyang P, Saarel E, Bai Y, Luo C, Lv Q, Xu Y, Wang F, Fan C, Younoszai A, Chen Q, Tu X, Wang Q(2011)A de novo mutation in NKX2.5 associated with atrial septal defects, ventricular noncompaction, syncope and sudden death.  Clinica Chimica Acta, 412(1-2),170-5
  7. Von Bergen NH, Atkins DL, Dick M 2nd, Bradley DJ, Etheridge SP, Saarel EV, Fischbach PS, Balaji S, Sreeram N, Evans WN, Law I(2011)Multicenter study of the effectiveness of implantable cardioverter defibrillators in children and young adults with heart disease.  Pediatric Cardiology, 32(4),399-405
  8. Hoffman JL, Mack GK, Minich LL, Benedict SL, Heywood M, Stoddard GJ, Saarel E(2011)Failure to impact prevalence of arterial ischemic stroke in pediatric cardiac patients over three decades.  Congenital Heart Disease, 6(3),211-8
  9. Etheridge SP, Bowles NE, Arrington CB, Pilcher T, Rope A, Wilde AA, Alders M, Saarel EV, Tavernier R, Timothy KW, Tristani-Firouzi (2011)Somatic mosaicism contributes to phenotypic variation in Timothy syndrome.  American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A, 155(10),2578-83
  10. Tate J, Stinstra J, Pilcher T, Poursaid A, Saarel E, Macleod (2011)Measuring defibrillator surface potentials for simulation verification.  IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference Proceedings, 2011239-42
  11. Everitt MD, Verma A, Saarel E(2011)The wearable external cardiac defibrillator for cancer patients at risk for sudden cardiac death  Community Oncology, 8(9),400-3
  12. Everitt MD, Saarel E(2010)Use of the wearable external cardiac defibrillator in children.  Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology (PACE), 33(6),742-6
  13. Daccarett M, Segerson NM, Bradley DJ, Etheridge SP, Freedman RA, Saarel E(2010)Bipolar lumenless lead performance in children and adults with congenital heart disease.  Congenital Heart Disease, 5(2),149-56
  14. Jou CJ, Etheridge SP, Minich L, Saarel EV, Lambert LM, Kouretas PC, Holubkov R, Hawkins J(2010)Long-term Outcome and Risk of Heart Block After Surgical Treatment of SUbaortic Stenosis  World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, 1(1),15-19
  15. Petko C, Bradley DJ, Tristani-Firouzi M, Cohen MI, Sanatani S, Saarel EV, Albaro CA, Etheridge S(2008)Congenital long QT syndrome in children identified by family screening.  American Journal of Cardiology, The, 101(12),1756-8
  16. Law IH, Von Bergen NH, Gingerich JC, Saarel EV, Fischbach PS, Dick M 2n(2006)Transcatheter cryothermal ablation of junctional ectopic tachycardia in the normal heart.  Heart Rhythm, 3(8),903-907
  17. Aiyagari R, Saarel EV, Etheridge SP, Bradley DJ, Dick M 2nd, Fischbach P(2005)Radiofrequency ablation for supraventricular tachycardia in children < or =15 kg is safe and effective.  Pediatric Cardiology, 26(5),622-6

Book Chapter

  1. Baranowski B, Saarel E, Chung M(2013)Imaging of Implantable Devices  , 1Chapter 27
  2. Lakkireddy D, Saarel E, Chung M(2011)Imaging in Pacing and Defibrillation.  , Volume 1931-966
  3. Saarel EV, Gomez (2006)Fetal Arrhythmias.  , Volume 1241-256


  1. Saarel EV, Etheridge S(2014)Congenital long QT syndrome: the race to refine risk.  Pharmag, 11(1),83-4


  1. Saarel EV, Pilcher T, Gamboa D, Etheridge (2014)Sports for Young Patients with Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators: Refining the Risk  , 63(12_S),A128
  2. Badhwar N, Saarel EV, Dorostkar PC, Mehta D, Morady F, Stevenson WG, Josephson ME, Tchou PJ, Scheinman M(2013)Diagnostic Maneuvers In Patients With Concealed Nodofascicular, (nodoventricular) Tachycardia  , 10(5S),29
  3. Wilson, K, Etheridge SP, Pilcher TA, Garnreiter J, Saarel E(2013)Is MRI Safe in Pediatric Patients with Pacemakers and Epicardial Leads: Long-Term Follow-Up Data  , 61(10),A113
  4. Saarel EV, Pilcher TA, Etheridge S(2013)Safety of Sports for Pediatric and Congenital ICD and Pacemaker Patients  , 10(5S),211
  5. Garnreiter JM, Whitaker P, Pilcher TA, Etheridge SP, Saarel E(2013)Six-Year Experience with a Lumenless Pacing Lead in Pediatrics and Congenital Heart Disease  , 61(10),A129
  6. Lampert R, Olshansky B, Heidbuchel H, Lawless C, Saarel E, Ackerman M, Calkins K, Estes M, Link M, Maron B, Marcus F, Scheinman M, Wilkoff B, Zipes D, Berul C, Cheng A, Law I, Loomis M, Barth C, Brandt C, Dziura J, Li F, Cannom (2012)Safety of Sports for Patients With ICDs: Results of a Prospective Multinational Registry  , 9(9),1577
  7. Pilcher TA, Tate JD, Stinstra JS, Saarel EV, Poursaid AE, Puchalski MD, MacLeod R(2011)Effect of Spinal Fixation Rods and Abandoned Epicardial Patches on Defibrillation Thresholds Predicted from Computational Simulation  , 8(5),S326
  8. Kamp AN, Von Bergen NH, Henrickson CA, Makhoul M, Strieper M, Saarel EV, LaPage MJ, Serwer G, Dick MD, Day SM, Bradley D(2011)Results of a Multicenter Retrospective Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Cohort of Pediatric and Young Adult Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Patients  , 8(5),S98
  9. Tate JD, Stinstra JS, Pilcher TA, Poursaid AE, Saarel EV, MacLeod R(2011)Simulating Defibrillation: Verification using Defribrillation Thresholds and Surface Recordings  , 8(5),S396
  10. Saarel EV, Pilcher T, Etheridge S(2010)Bipartite Coronary Sinus Diverticulum And Unique Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome  , 7(5S),S318
  11. Von Bergen NH, Dick 2nd M, Bradley DJ, Atkins DL, Etheridge SP, Saarel E, Papez A, Serwer GA, Law I(2007)Effectiveness of ICDs by Indication in Children and Young Adults with Congenital Heart Disease  , 4(5),S256
  12. Badhwar N, Saarel EV, Kanj M, Germano JJ, Dresing T, Tchou PJ, Josephson ME, Scheinman M(2007)Successful site of ablation for patients with concealed nodofascicular tachycardia  , 4(5),S75

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