At Sun Radiology, fellowship trained Molecular Cardiac Radiologists and Nuclear Cardiologists team together using state-of–the-art equipment to offer the best in diagnostic cardiac molecular imaging. Our molecular diagnostic images are used as tools for management and treatment of a wide range of cardiac conditions.
At Sun Radiology our comprehensive coronary artery diseases (CAD) protocol includes 3 exams: CT Coronary Calcium Score, Nuclear Stress Test and Coronary Artery Angiography (CTCA).
CT Coronary Calcium Score Assess the risk for future heart attack. We follow CT coronary calcium score very closely over time with every patient with history of CAD. This test is a direct indicator of coronary atherosclerotic diseases and predicts your future risk of a myocardial infarction (Heart Attack). CT coronary calcium score should be obtained in patients with the following risk factors: Diabetic, Hyperlipidemia, Elevated Cholesterol, High Blood pressure, coronary artery diseases (CAD), abnormal EKG, cardiac stent and family history of Heart diseases.
Pharamacological Nuclear Stress test: The Pharamacological induce stress test is superior to treadmill as it reaches the optimal heart rate to induce reversible ischemia. We also perform the CT calcium score with every stress test as the combination of the two exams increases the sensitivity of the exam and increase our ability to predict a future cardiac event with increased sensitivity. Reversible ischemia in conjunction with a higher calcium score will increase the likelhood of a future heart attack.
CT Coronary Angiography (CTCA): Our multi-detector 64 slice Cardiac CT scanner has dramatically improved clinicians’ ability to accurately diagnose cardiac disease at a molecular level at an early stage, even before cardiac catheterization. With the 64 slice technology we can directly image the coronary arteries and identify areas of narrowing or blockage (stenosis). This 64 slice Cardiac CT scanner can detect microscopic calcifications within the wall of the coronary arteries at a microscopic level, calcifications are the earliest sign of athersclerotic diseases within the coronary arteries, this finding cannot be detected by cardiac catheterization . With 64 slice Cardiac CT scanner we can do the entire coronary angiogram with one tenth the volume of contrast (protects the kidneys) and in a single breathe hold. Sun Radiology is the only outpatient imaging center to have this technology in an outpatient center setting. This is convenient and cost effective for the patient. CTCA looks for soft plaque within the wall of the coronary arteries. Patient can have a normal stress test but still have soft plaque within the coronary arteries. CTCA is done as an outpatient 15 minute procedure. The entire coronary angiogram of the heart is done within minutes with 1/10 the dose of Iodine contrast (this is decreases the damage to the kidneys). The entire angiogram is done with a small IV. There are no complications such as bleeding, Pseudoaneryusm, retroperitoneal hemorrhage, dissection or stroke as seen in traditional cardiac catheterization (as we are not puncturing a high pressure Femoral Artery). Because CT is cross sectional imaging a CTCA also allows us to see outside the coronary arteries in the surrounding structures, such as the Lungs, Esophagus, Mediastinum, Pericardium, Pleura and Upper Abdomen. Not all chest pain is cardiac in origin. CTCA allows us to do a quadruple Rule Out: Coronary artery occlusion/stenosis, PE, Aortic Dissection, Aortic Aneurysm leak, Pleural or Pericardial effusion. Traditional cardiac catheterization does not allow a clinician to evalute pathology that is not related to the coronary arteries that can also cause similar symptoms such as chest pain. CTCA has the ability to diagnose Non Coronary etiologies of chest pain such as: Lung Cancer, Esophageal Cancer, Hiatal Hernia, Pneumonia, Pericardial or Pleural effusions. CTCA should be performed in patients with the following risk factors: Diabetic, Hyperlipidemia, elevated Cholesterol, High Blood pressure, Coronary Artery Diseases, Abnormal EKG, previous cardiac stent placement, family history of heart diseases or previous heart attack.
Myocardial Viability PET/CT our radiologists can determine the health of the vessels supplying blood to the heart, heart muscle and surrounding tissue. The most common use of cardiac molecular imaging using PET/CT in cardiology is to identify heart muscle weakened but not damaged irreversibly by blocked arteries – this key information is needed to determine whether a patient’s heart muscle will benefit from coronary artery bypass surgery, stent placement or angioplasty. These non invasive exams are safe and painless as compared to cardiac catheterization which involves high doses of contrast material with the risks of associated complications with these surgical invasive procedures. Myocardial Molecular Imaging with Glucose (FDG) PET/CT will help differentiate viable (viable/alive/hibernating) myocardium from non-viable/scar/dead tissue, from prior myocardial infarction.