Cleveland Clinic's Section of Cardiovascular Imaging uses the most advanced technology available to capture images of the heart. These various techniques allow physicians to make accurate diagnoses and determine the best treatment for each patient. They also offer better patient safety during treatments. These specialists are referred to as "imaging physicians" because they determine the most appropriate way to image or study the structure and function of the heart in order to diagnose many types of heart disease. They are also experts in the treatment and long-term management of many types of heart conditions.
Obtaining and interpreting images of the heart are critical to the successful management of any cardiac disorder. Our cardiovascular imaging specialists pioneered the use of stress echocardiography to evaluate heart valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aortic aneurysm, patent foramen ovale, and diastolic dysfunction in patients with amyloidosis and constrictive pericarditis. We also use transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), nuclear imaging, cardiac MRI and coronary CTA.
Cardiovascular imaging physicians are also experts in the treatment and long-term management of many types of heart conditions including:
Cleveland Clinic's Section of Cardiac Imaging is one of the largest and most experienced in the country. Our staff reads and interprets nearly 50,000 images every year.
Cardiovascular imaging specialists have pioneered the use of stress echocardiography in evaluating heart valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aortic aneurysm, patent foramen ovale, and diastolic dysfunction in amyloidosis and constrictive pericarditis.
Imaging specialists in the Section of Cardiovascular Imaging utilize the following diagnostic studies to diagnose heart disease, plan optimal care for patients, and help ensure treatment is complete. They also use these diagnostic studies to minimize complications during many types of catheter-based procedures and heart surgery.
- Echocardiography, including Doppler and 3-D is used to assess the overall function of the heart, determine the presence of many types of heart disease, follow the progress of valve disease and evaluate the effectiveness of medical or surgical treatment.
- Stress echocardiography uses exercise or medication to make the heart work harder than when at rest. This helps us obtain more detailed pictures of the heart and how well or poorly it is functioning. Although stress echo is widely used to evaluate coronary artery disease, members of the section have pioneered its use in evaluating heart valve disease, such as aortic stenosis and insufficiency (regurgitation), bicuspid aortic valve disease, mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve stenosis and insufficiency, tricuspid and pulmonic valve disease, rheumatic heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and diastolic dysfunction in amyloidosis and constrictive pericarditis.
- Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is used during surgery of the coronary arteries, valves or aorta. TEE is also done to evaluate whether a patient who has atrial fibrillation is at high risk for stroke. The procedure can show the presence of any blood clots in the heart (which have the potential to travel into the bloodstream and cause a stroke).
- Intracardiac echo is valuable during electrophysiology and other catheter-based procedures to assist the cardiologist in visualizing the heart's structures and minimizing complications.
- Nuclear imaging studies are used to diagnose various heart conditions. Specialists use Multigated Acquisition Scan (MUGA), positron emission tomography (PET), and nuclear exercise stress testing to find out more about the structure and function of the heart.
- Cardiac MRI is considered the best method to evaluate heart structure, size, and function. This test uses a specialized cardiac capable MRI scanner to evaluate the heart. For people who cannot have an MRI scan (due to metal clips, pacemakers, etc.), a radionuclide study or cardiac CT scan are also options.
- Coronary computed tomography angiography (CT Angiography) is being studied as a noninvasive method for detecting blockages in the coronary arteries. Both 40-detector and 64-detector scanners are being evaluated to determine their ability to rule out significant narrowing of the major coronary arteries and non-invasively detect “soft plaque,” or fatty matter that may lead to future problems if lifestyle changes or medical treatment are not initiated.
Why choose Cleveland Clinic for your care?
Our outcomes speak for themselves. Please review our facts and figures and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.
The Section of Cardiovascular Imaging at Cleveland Clinic is one of the few centers in the country offering specialized imaging of the cardiovascular system by an integrated team of radiologists and cardiologists specifically trained in cardiac imaging.
What to Expect
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Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute physicians, surgeons, and researchers continue to research into new treatments and therapies with the goal of improving patient care and outcomes into the future.