To determine if the pattern of cardiac care is affected by the presence of Down syndrome (DS) we analyzed the records of infants enrolled in the Baltimore-Washington Infant Study, a regional case-control study of congenital cardiovascular malformations. The age at cardiac diagnosis, the timing of cardiac surgery, and the one-year outcome were compared in 160 infants with DS and 540 infants with the same cardiac diagnoses but without chromosomal or other extracardiac anomalies (Isolated cardiovascular malformation [ICM] group). Cardiac referral and diagnosis were accomplished by 13 weeks of age in 78% of infants with DS and 67% of those with ICMs. However, by 26 weeks of age, the proportion of infants in both groups was comparable. Cardiac surgery was performed before 1 year of age in 99 of 160 infants with DS and in 141 of 540 infants with ICMs. The surgical outcome was similar in the two groups. We conclude that for defects of comparable severity, the pattern of cardiac care in the Baltimore-Washington, DC, area for infants with DS is timely and comparable to care for infants with ICMs.