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  • Cardiac Imaging Services

    Non-invasive diagnostic scans help identify heart disease by providing fast, detailed images of coronary blood vessels. Specialty-trained physicians and radiologists use the results to identify disease that narrows or blocks blood flow, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes or other forms of heart and vascular disease.

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    University Heart, which includes the Department of Radiology's cardiac imaging service, provides more patient exams than any other facility in Mississippi. Cardiac MRI provides anatomic and functional images of the heart without the use of ionizing radiation or iodinated contrast media. Additionally, our wide bore magnet provides space for patient comfort and can accommodate larger patients. The imaging procedure uses a magnetic field and radio waves processed by a computer to generate images of the heart to determine problems related to perfusion, function or flow in children and adults.

    Cardiac MRI examinations with specific protocols include:

    • Arrythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD)
    • Aortic coarctation
    • Cardiac masses
    • Cardiac origins of stroke
    • Complex congenital heart disease
    • Coronary artery anomalies (coronary MRA)
    • Heart valves - aortic, mitral, tricuspid and pulmonary
    • Marfan's Syndrome
    • Myocardial infarction
    • Myocardial ischemia
    • Myocarditis and pericarditis
    • Stress/rest myocardial perfusion
    • Tetrology of Fallot
    • Transposition of the great arteries

    MRI for iron overload

    Extensive iron deposits can occur in the liver and heart when >100 units of blood are transfused for treatment of thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. As myocardial iron progressively increases, there is a decrease in cardiac function and mortality from the iron overload. MRI for iron assessment is a quick 20 min non-invasive exam that does not require an IV. The results are validated and can be used to follow iron levels from year to year. The Division of Cardiac Imaging has provided myocardial and liver iron measurements using a T2* technique since January 2014.

     normal myocardial ironmyocardial iron overload
    Normal myocardial ironMyocardial iron overload

    Cardiac-computed tomography angiography (CTA)

    University Heart is one of only two medical facilities in the state offering dual source CT scanners, which provide high-quality images at all heart rates. 3-D images are used to evaluate patients for coronary artery disease. Calcium scoring is available for risk assessment of coronary artery disease.

    Cardiac CT examinations with specific protocols include:

    • Calcium scoring
    • Cardiac CTA with calcium score
    • Cardiac CTA for coronary artery bypass grafts
    • Cardiac CTA for pulmonary veins
    • CT congenital heart

    Nuclear perfusion scan

    Energy produced by radioactive material allows University Heart specialists to see images of the heart's structure and function. This procedure helps in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of diseases, including types of cancer, heart disease and other abnormalities within the body.