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Cardiology

The Heart Unit at Clemenceau Medical Center Hosptial Dubai is equipped with the latest cardiovascular imaging technology.

Cardiovascular imaging is a branch of diagnostic radiology where a cardiac radiologist oversees or performs medical imaging procedures to identify heart disorders such as heart disease, leaky heart valves, and problems in the size and structure of the heart.

Imaging methods in cardiovascular imaging include X-rays, ultrasound (echocardiograms), CT scans, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) as used by a cardiac radiologist.

The tests are utilized in monitoring the patient’s heart, screening for heart illness, identifying the source of the patient’s symptoms, and seeing if the patient’s medication is working.

Preparation for Cardiovascular Imaging

Prior to the procedure, the healthcare provider will provide the patient with certain instructions for specific tests. The instructions include the following:

  • Not to wear any jewelry during cardiac CT scans
  • For MRIs, the patient is to remove hearing aids if any as well as glasses, clips, and any other thing that might contain metal.
  • If it’s stress testing and coronary angiograms, the patient should avoid beverages and medications that contain caffeine.
  • The patient is to wear comfortable clothing free of any metal on it

The patient should share the following detailed information with the doctor as well:

  • Any medication currently taking. This should include prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, recreational drugs, and supplements.
  • Pregnancy status
  • In case the patient has any medical devices including mechanical valves, pacemakers, rods, or screws that could be implanted in the body.

When to Perform Cardiovascular Imaging Procedures

Cardiac imaging is performed with the goal of:

  • Identifying heart problems
  • To determine whether therapies are effective, keep an eye on the patient’s heart
  • To identify the source of symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pain
  • To identify whether a heart attack happened and how much damage was done
  • To check the patient’s heart health status for early intervention in case he/she is presenting any symptoms

How the Cardiovascular Imaging Procedures Work

Echocardiogram

This procedure uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce images and videos of the patient’s heart chambers, valves, walls, and blood vessels. It aids in measuring the heart’s pumping action and the severity of heart failure.

Cardiac computed tomography

Multiple X-rays are combined by a computer during a heart CT scan. As a result, a variety of distinct, finely detailed images that may either be read directly or assembled to generate three-dimensional views of the heart and its surroundings from various angles are produced.

Nuclear cardiac stress test

In this procedure, a radioactive material known as a tracer is used to display the flow of blood to and from the patient’s heart.

Cardiac PET scan

This is another nuclear imaging test. The test uses a radioactive tracer that the patient’s sickened heart absorbs. The tracer’s absorption site can be determined using the PET camera. The procedure typically focuses on the metabolic function of the heart tissues.

Cardiac SPECT scan

This is a nuclear imaging test.  It is used to show blood flow and metabolic activity in the heart tissues.

Coronary angiogram

This is classified as a special X-ray test that is performed during cardiac catheterization. The physician inserts a catheter into an artery in the patient’s wrist or groin and guides it up to the heart through which a dye injection will be administered into the blood. The test aids in locating blocked arteries.

MRI

The procedure uses radio waves and magnets to scan the patient’s heart instead of radiation. Images produced by an MRI are incredibly detailed. It may depict the heart’s many components and how effectively they’re functioning.

MUGA scan

A MUGA scan analyzes how well the patient’s heart’s lower chambers (ventricle) are working. It is also called radionuclide ventriculography.

FAQ's

Based on extensive research, cardiovascular imaging is considered fairly safe since the techniques are minimally invasive or non-invasive. However, the dye used in various cardiac imaging examinations may occasionally cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

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