Cardiac Imaging

Also known as: Cardiac diagnostics and testing

The International Heart Institute provides special cardiac imaging services including echocardiography, nuclear cardiac imaging, CT angiography and cardiac MRI. Your cardiac physician may order imaging tests to diagnosis your condition.

The most common cardiac imaging tests ordered include the following:

  • Echocardiography uses sound waves (ultrasound) to produce images of the heart and heart function. The sound waves are sent through the body with a device called a transducer. The sound waves bounce off of the heart and return to the transducer as echoes. The echoes are converted into images on a television monitor to produce a one-, two-, or three-dimensional picture of the heart. Depending on the type of echocardiography used, doctors can see how blood is flowing through the heart and study the size, shape and movement of heart muscle, heart valves and arteries.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields to create a detailed picture of the heart, including its chambers and valves, and allows doctors see inside the body without performing surgery.
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) uses the same magnetic technology as the MRI, but can detect and diagnose blood vessel diseases through clear images, without exposing patients to radiation.
  • Cardiac Cat Scan (CT) is an X-ray technique that uses a computer to create cross-sectional or slice-like pictures of the heart.
  • Coronary Calcium Detection uses CT scans to detect calcium buildup in the coronary arteries and coronary artery disease. CT provides a noninvasive way to help physicians and patients develop prevention or treatment plans.
  • Multi-Detector Computed Tomography (MDCT) is faster than a CT scan because it has multiple rows of detectors that can take several X-rays of the heart at once. An MDCT scan can also take images of the entire heart in about ten seconds.

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