$$ Poonam Punjwani Thankavel, MD Instructor at UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Poonam Thankavel

UTSW Physician Practicing at Children's Health

Board Certification American Board of Pediatrics/Pediatric Cardiology
Languages Spoken: English, Spanish,




Poonam Punjwani Thankavel, M.D., is a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s Health  and Director of the Echo Laboratory. She specializes in diagnosing and treating congenital coronary anomalies.

Dr. Thankavel earned her medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada. She then completed her residency training in pediatrics at University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at UT Southwestern.

“During training, I fell in love with the complexity of the heart and the ability to work with children,” Dr. Thankavel says. “You are really taking care of the whole family.”

Dr. Thankavel serves as director of the Congenital Coronary Anomaly Program. Her research and clinical interests include the use of echocardiography to diagnose complex congenital heart conditions, including coronary artery anomalies. She works to screen, identify and manage these conditions, contributing to a national database by the Congenital Heart Surgeons Society and increasing medical knowledge about these conditions.

“The cardiologists I work with have the same goal of providing the best care that we possibly can,” says Dr. Thankavel. “We have a very thorough, collaborative approach to care.”

Texas Monthly named her as a SuperDoctors Texas – Rising Star award winner in 2015.

Dr. Thankavel is from Brazil and speaks fluent English and Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family.

Education and Training

Education and Training

Medical School

St. George's University School of Medicine (2004)


University of South Florida College of Medicine (2005), Pediatrics


University of South Florida College of Medicine (2007), Pediatrics


UT Southwestern - Children's Medical Center (2010), Pediatric Cardiology
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

Research Interests

  • Echocardiographic prediction of spontaneous closure of the ductus arteriosus in neonates less than 30 weeks gestation.

Selected Publications

  • Scores Adjusted for Body Surface Area to Age, Sex, Race, and Ethnicity: The Pediatric Heart Network Normal Echocardiogram Database. Lopez L, Colan S, Stylianou M, Granger S, Trachtenberg F, Frommelt P, Pearson G, Camarda J, Cnota J, Cohen M, Dragulescu A, Frommelt M, Garuba O, Johnson T, Lai W, Mahgerefteh J, Pignatelli R, Prakash A, Sachdeva R, Soriano B, Soslow J, Spurney C, Srivastava S, Taylor C, Thankavel P, van der Velde M, Minich LCirculation. Cardiovascular imaging 2017 Nov 10 11
  • Reverse histologic remodeling after mechanical unloading of failing hearts in children with dilated cardiomyopathy. Kasten J, Rakheja D, Zhang S, Thankavel P, Das BB The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation 2017 Jun
  • Fontan survival: As good as it gets? Thankavel P, Jaquiss RDB The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery 2017 Apr
  • Two Rare Vascular Rings With Ductal Origin of the Left Pulmonary Artery: A Previously Unrecognized Syndrome? Thankavel PP, Guleserian KJ, Anderson RH World journal for pediatric & congenital heart surgery 2016 Dec
  • Bilateral congenital coronary ostial obstruction: Exertional syncope in an otherwise healthy 8-year-old. Sharma K, Thankavel P Echocardiography (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) 2016 Oct
  • Early echocardiographic predictor of heart failure in cerebral arteriovenous malformations. Thankavel PP, Ramaciotti C Cardiology in the young 2016 Apr 1-5
  • Isolated Mitral Cleft in Trisomy 21: An Initially 'Silent' Lesion. Thankavel PP, Ramaciotti C Pediatric cardiology 2015 Oct
  • Response to commentary: Anomalous origin of the left pulmonary artery from the internal carotid artery. Thankavel PP, Martho LC, Zeltser I Cardiology in the young 2015 Oct 1-2
  • Anomalous left pulmonary artery origin from internal carotid artery: prospective echocardiographic diagnosis of a previously unknown variant. Thankavel PP, Martho LC, Zeltser I Cardiology in the young 2015 Mar 1-4
  • Myocardial contusion in an 8-year-old boy: a kick to the heart. Moyé DM, Dyer AK, Thankavel PP Circulation. Cardiovascular imaging 2015 Mar 8 3 e002857
  • Utility and Importance of New Echocardiographic Screening Methods in Diagnosis of Anomalous Coronary Origins in the Pediatric Population: Assessment of Quality Improvement. Thankavel PP, Lemler MS, Ramaciotti C Pediatric cardiology 2014 Aug
  • Double-Outlet Right Atrium Associated with Hypoplastic Right Heart Structures and Aortic Stenosis: Echocardiographic Features. Thankavel PP, Gabbert B, Ramaciotti C Echocardiography (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) 2014 Mar
  • Unruptured Sinus of Valsalva Aneurysm in a Neonate with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: Echocardiographic Diagnosis and Features. Thankavel PP, Lemler MS, Ramaciotti C Echocardiography (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) 2013 Dec
  • Elevated troponin levels in previously healthy children: value of diagnostic modalities and the importance of a drug screen. Thankavel PP, Mir A, Ramaciotti C Cardiology in the young 2013 Mar 1-7
  • High-Takeoff Single Coronary Artery With Intramural Course in Truncus Arteriosus: Prospective Echocardiographic Identification. Thankavel PP, Brown PS, Nugent AW Pediatric cardiology 2013 Jan
  • Left-dominant double aortic arch in critical pulmonary stenosis and ventricular septal defect. Thankavel PP, Brown PS, Lemler MS Pediatric cardiology 2012 Dec 33 8 1469-71
  • Anomalous Left Main Coronary Artery Origin From the Right Sinus of Valsalva: A Novel Echocardiographic Screening Method. Thankavel PP, Balakrishnan PL, Lemler MS, Ramaciotti C Pediatric cardiology 2012 Oct
  • Imaging the coronary artery: is it really normal? How to avoid common echocardiographic pitfalls. Thankavel PP, Brown PS, Carron HD, Ramaciotti C Circulation Cardiovascular imaging 2012 May 5 3 415-8
  • A Neonate with Left Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and Transient Retrograde Flow in the Aortic Arch. Thankavel PP, Ramaciotti C, Lemler MS Pediatric cardiology 2011 Apr
  • Clinical and echocardiographic diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus in premature neonates., Chiruvolu A, Punjwani P, Ramaciotti C Early Hum Dev. March 2009 85(3) 147-9
  • The novel differentiation of human blood mononuclear cells into CD1a-negative dendritic cells is stimulated in the absence of exogenous cytokines by an extract prepared from pinecones. Bradley WG, Widen RH, Weiser AM, Powers JJ, Fountain LB, Punjwani P, Lofgren SM, Hadzic T, Klein R, Green WH, Tanaka A International immunopharmacology 2003 Feb 3 2 209-23
  • The novel differentiation of human blood mononuclear cells into CD1a-negative dendritic cells is stimulated in the absence of exogenous cytokines by an extract prepared from pinecones., Bradley WG, Widen RH, Weiser AM, Powers JJ, Fountain LB, Punjwani P, Lofgren SM, Hadzic T, Klein R, Green WH, Tanaka A Int Immunopharmacol. February 2003 3(2) 209-23

Professional Activities

Professional Activities

Professional Associations and Affiliations

  • Fellow of American Society of Echocardiography (FASE)

Awards & Honors

Awards & Honors

  • Young Investigator Award - 1st Annual Yong Investigator Award, UT Southwestern Medical Center (2010)
  • Excellence in Research 2010, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Texas Super Doctors 2015-2017, Texas Monthly Magazine