Your heart is one of the hardest-working complex organs in the body. As February marks American Heart Month, let’s emphasize the importance of prioritizing cardiovascular health through early detection and recent advancements in imaging.
Cardiac imaging allows your care team to see the heart and its many systems in action, serving as an important prognostic and diagnostic tool in treating cardiovascular conditions. Most cardiac imaging is noninvasive and allows the heart to be “seen” from inside out.
With the vast complexity of the muscles in your heart, a variety of imaging tests may be used to assess and gather information about your heart.
Cardiac MRI provides healthcare providers detailed images of your heart's structure, blood vessels, and blood flow using powerful magnets and radio waves. This type of MRI is effective in diagnosing heart attacks, cardiac tumors, and congenital heart diseases.
Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA) imaging techniques are used to visualize blood vessels throughout the body, including arteries and veins. CTA combines the CT scan with contrast dye injected into the bloodstream to produce detailed images of the blood vessels. CTA can help assess vascular conditions and coronary artery disease.
Additional imaging tests are used to evaluate your carotid arteries, the major blood vessels located on each side of the neck that supply oxygenated blood to the brain, head, and neck. The carotid arteries play a crucial role in maintaining proper blood flow to the brain, and any blockages or narrowing in these arteries can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Carotid Ultrasound is a non-invasive test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the carotid arteries. It can visualize plaque buildup, detect narrowing or blockages, and assess blood flow velocity. Carotid Doppler Ultrasound is a similar test, and can evaluate blood flow in the carotid arteries using Doppler ultrasound technology to provide essential information on blood flow direction, velocity, and turbulence, helping identify stenosis or other abnormalities. Abdominal Aorta Doppler is a medical imaging technique that uses Doppler ultrasound technology to assess blood flow in the abdominal aorta, which is the main artery in the abdominal cavity.
Imaging tests of the venous system of the body, which consists of veins that return blood from the tissues back to the heart, can also help detect heart disease. The venous system works with the arterial system to ensure proper circulation throughout the body. Veins contain valves that help prevent the backward flow of blood and helps return your blood back to the heart, against the gravity in your legs and lower parts of your body. Venous upper and lower sonograms focus on evaluating the veins above and below the heart. These sonograms can provide important information about your vascular connections to your heart’s function.
Today’s healthcare professionals can now visualize the heart’s structure, function, and blood flow to properly diagnose heart conditions, such as congenital heart defects, heart valve disease, and heart failure. Imaging can also assist your medical team in monitoring heart disease progression and assessing current treatment effectiveness. Cardiac imaging identifies risk factors for heart disease, such as plaque build-up in the arteries or hear enlargement, to help detect heart conditions early.
Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging provides advanced imaging in early detection and prevention of heart conditions. Show your heart some love this month with an imaging study for early detection of heart disease!
Our mission at Houston MRI ® & Diagnostic Imaging is to provide patients and physicians with affordable medical diagnostic imaging in a warm and patient-friendly environment. It is our goal to make the medical imaging procedure as pleasant as possible. Our promise to our communities is "hospital quality imaging without the hospital costs" with efficient service to our patients and physicians.