What is Cardiovascular Imaging?

Cardiac imaging is a non-invasive imaging procedure of the heart. There are many reasons why a patient may need cardiac imaging, which is why there are several different types of imaging techniques that can be used. At ImageCare, we provide a range of services for cardiovascular imaging in New Jersey. Cardiovascular imaging can be broken down into a few different categories.A Man with His Arms Above His Head and ECGs on His Chest is in a Machine Used for Cardiac Testing.

  • Echocardiography: A cardiac ultrasound that records the heart’s electrical activity of the heart and monitors the heart during the procedure using electrodes.
  • Nuclear medicine (PET scan): Uses small doses of radioactive materials to illuminate specific areas of the body for study.
  • Cardiac CT (calcium scoring, coronary artery CT): A fast, low-radiation-dose imaging procedure that acquires detailed images of the heart and coronary arteries.
  • Cardiac MRI: Obtains detailed images of the heart to diagnose, monitor, and plan treatment for heart conditions and diseases.

Some patients may benefit from one type of cardiovascular imaging procedure over another due to health reasons and the area of the heart that needs to be examined. If a patient has metal implants, medical devices, or shrapnel, they are not suited for a cardiac MRI and will be examined in a way that is mindful of their needs.

What Can Cardiac Imaging Detect?

Heart ultrasounds performed with echocardiography can detect heart failure, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), and endocarditis (inflamed heart chamber lining and valves).

PET scans are minimally invasive, requiring the use of a contrast dye to provide a more accurate depiction of the heart structure. This procedure can detect coronary artery disease as well as the strength and condition of the heart after a patient suffers a heart attack.

A cardiac CT scan can also detect coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, blood clots, and tumors in the heart.

Cardiac MRIs are typically used for diagnosing issues with the heart and nearby blood vessels. This type of imaging procedure is considered a safer alternative to PET and CT scans for pregnant women.

Contact us today for more information about the cardiovascular imaging procedures ImageCare Centers offers.