At the Providence Heart Institute, we offer specialized cardiac imaging services to provide information related to the structure and function of your heart. Cardiac imaging techniques are noninvasive and easier to perform than invasive procedures. They are often used to help diagnose and treat heart disease.
It is important to understand that not all individuals benefit from these imaging studies, and your cardiologist will be able to determine the best approach to diagnose your particular condition.
The most common cardiac imaging tests include the following:
- Echocardiography uses sound waves (ultrasound) to produce images of the heart and heart function. 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.
- Transthoracic or surface echo
- Cardiac CT Scan is a specialized X-ray technique that uses a computer to create cross-sectional or slice-like pictures of the heart.
- Nuclear Stress Test provides images of the blood flow to the heart muscle under resting and stress conditions.
- Coronary Calcium Detection uses CT scans to detect calcium buildup in the coronary arteries and coronary artery disease.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields to create a detailed picture of the heart, including its chambers and valves. This test helps to assess heart muscle dysfunction, cardiac masses and other rare disorders. Medications can be used to stress the heart to assess blood flow to the heart muscle and whether damaged heart muscle would benefit from revascularization like bypass surgery.
- Cardiac 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.
Echocardiography is a test that takes moving pictures of the heart, using sound waves. Medical director Dr. Jocelyn Spoon discuss echocardiography, an important diagnostic tool to evaluate heart health.