Radiology gets to the heart of the matter
At Dominican, doctors use several emerging technologies to get to the heart of the matter quickly and painlessly. Using non-invasive tools such as Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA), Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) or ultrasound, doctors get sharp, real-time images of the heart and vessels so that patients can receive the appropriate treatment rapidly.
MRA Yields Clearer View
Usually found at specialized heart centers to see clear pictures of the structures and function of the heart and major vessels, MRA is also in use at Dominican. Physicians can examine the size and thickness of the heart’s chambers to determine the extent of damage caused by a heart attack or atherosclerosis progression, which could have serious consequences.
CTA Gives 3-D Look
With a 16-slice CT scanner, Dominican doctors get a three-dimensional picture of a patient’s arteries. In 2009, Dominican Hospital added a new, $1.8 million 64-slice CT scanner.
The new CT scanner will complement the services of the hospital’s existing 16-slice scanner. Doubling the number of available CT scanners means a higher volume of patients will get their scans more quickly.
By simultaneously scanning several slices of the body the scan time can be reduced significantly, visualizing the smallest details in just heartbeats. The new scanner will allow interventional radiologists to do advanced procedures, like CT angiography (CTA). CTA
uses x-rays to visualize blood flow in arterial vessels throughout the body—from arteries serving the brain to those bringing blood to the lungs, kidneys, arms and legs. Compared to catheter angiography, which involves injecting contrast material into an artery, CTA is much less invasive and more patient-friendly. It can be far more cost-effective than conventional coronary angiography.
Dominican doctors use CTA to detect several potentially life-threatening conditions, including pulmonary embolism, aneurysm and aortic dissection.
Ultrasound Picks Up Plaque
Using high-frequency sound waves to send a view of a particular area of the body, Ultrasound is particularly useful in evaluating carotid arteries. It can show plaque that narrows arteries and could restrict blood flow to the brain.