Diagnostic Cardiac Imaging
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713-441-1100 (Texas Medical Center)
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The physicians of Methodist DeBakey Cardiology Associates have access to a state-of-the-art digital cardiac imaging facility that provides the whole range of cardiac imaging technologies: nuclear stress testing, cardiac MRI, cardiac CT and echocardiography. The use of these modalities is personalized for each patient, depending on the clinical question and cardiac condition.
- Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Cardiac MRI uses powerful magnetic and radio waves to create clear anatomical pictures on a computer screen for easy viewing and analysis. The images are commonly used in the diagnosis of blockages in the coronary arteries, to assess damage after a heart attack, and to diagnose heart valve problems, tumors and congenital heart defects. MRI exams can often provide physicians with information about your heart that cannot be gleaned from standard x-rays, EKG, echocardiograms and other diagnostic tests.
- CT Coronary Angiography: Cardiac CTA (computed tomography angiography) is used to assess blockages in the coronary arteries and define structural disorders of the heart. The testing involves injection of contrast (dye) through an intravenous line placed in an arm vein followed by imaging. Multiple cross-sections of the heart are then digitally combined by a computer to create vivid three dimensional images for cardiologists and other physicians to interpret.
- Coronary Artery Calcium Score (Heart Scan): This CT screening procedure detects coronary calcification within arterial plaque. Heart scans are perhaps the best procedure to detect early atherosclerosis before symptoms actually develop. In this test, the number of calcium plaque deposits is formulated into a “score” to help determine the extent of coronary artery disease.
- Echocardiography including Stress Echocardiography and TEE: An echocardiogram uses ultrasound to create a moving picture of the beating heart that helps determine heart chamber wall thickness, valve function and pumping action. The procedure can detect cardiac blood clots, rheumatic valvular disease, tumors, fluid around the heart, and congenital abnormalities. Echocardiograms include transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), the most common type; stress echocardiograms; transesophagael echocardiograms (TEE); and Doppler echocardiograms, which measure and evaluate blood flow.
- Nuclear Cardiology: Stress Myocardial Perfusion Imaging and Radionuclide Angiography: Nuclear cardiology procedures are generally employed during stress tests. They are ideal for determining blood flow to heart muscle, assessing cardiac metabolism, and identifying blockages in the coronary arteries. They can also predict which patients are at high risk for future heart attacks. Cardiologists can use this information to guide patient care towards improving survival and quality of life.
- William A. Zoghbi, M.D., FACC, FAHA, FASE, Medical Director
- Miguel A. Quiñones, M.D., FACC
- Sherif F. Nagueh, M.D., FACC, FAHA, FASE
- Karla M. Kurrelmeyer, M.D., FACC, FASE
- Stephen H. Little, M.D., FRCPC, FACC, FASE
- John J. Mahmarian, M.D., FACC, FASNC, FSCCT
- Su Min Chang, M.D., FACC
- Faisal Nabi, M.D., FACC
- Dipan J. Shah, M.D., FACC