Cardiac imaging subspecialists focus on imaging designed to manage heart disorders and assess the structure and function of the heart. They are a vital part of the process to catch and treat heart disorders in their earliest stages, ensuring the health and safety of the patient.
Common cardiac imaging techniques include cardiac MRI, CT coronary angiography, calcium scoring, SPECT, and PET CT. Cardiac MRI is particularly helpful in determining the extent of a heart attack, delineating between irreversible heart damage and heart tissue at risk of irreversible damage. It can also determine cardiac infections such as myocarditis and sarcoidosis, as well as evaluate bloodflow, heart function, valves, and defects. Because cardiac MRI does not use radiation, it is an ideal tool for evaluating pediatric congenital heart defects.
Other low or non-invasive cardiac imaging procedures include (but are not limited to) angiography, stent placement, aortic aneurysm repair, and cardiac calcium scoring. These imaging techniques are used to evaluate the anatomy of the heart (without an invasive procedure like as cardiac catheterization), bloodflow, and disease processes including aneurysm, dissection, or stenosis, among other things. Using these techniques, cardiac imaging subspecialists work closely with other cardiac specialists like cardiologists and vascular surgeons, along with cardiac imaging nurses and technologists to delivery coordinated, informed, and effective cardiac patient care.