The George Washington University Hospital is one of only a handful of area hospitals that offers cardiac magnetic resonance and cardiac CT.
Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging provides sophisticated images of the heart without any radiation. Using a powerful magnetic field and radio signals, the CMR gives the highest definition of heart structures and function that give details about how the blood is flowing throughout the body.
Typical indications for CMR include:
- Cardiomyopathies (heart muscle disorders)
- Viability (whether or not heart muscle is alive after a heart attack); planning prior to CABG in reduced left ventricular function and CAD
- Congenital heart disease
- Myocarditis (heart muscle infection)
- Cardiac masses
- Evaluation of bicuspid aortic valve and aortopathy
Cardiac MRI can help explain and further clarify results from other initial diagnostic tests such as echocardiography and CT scanning.
Cardiac CT is a highly advanced, non-invasive scanner that has the ability to help doctors identify heart disease in seconds by capturing thousands of detailed cross-sectional images of the patient's beating heart. These scans provide physicians with 3D views and may help avoid the use of more invasive diagnostic testing methods.
Some indications for Cardiac CT include:
- Evaluation of acute and chronic chest pain after prior negative or equivocal stress testing
- Initial detection of atherosclerosis (blockage in the coronary arteries), especially when unable to exercise or uninterpretable ECG
- Planning for TAVR, other minimally invasive procedures and redo cardiac surgery
- Planning for atrial fibrillation ablation
- Evaluation of heart and valvular (including mechanical) function
Coronary artery calcium scoring is a simple, non-contrast test that enables detection of calcium buildup in the coronary arteries in an early phase to enable earlier detection and prevention of heart disease.