Cardiac Anatomy and Morphology
From the assessment of congenital heart disease to the visualization of atherosclerotic coronary plaques or myocarditis: imaging cardiac and vascular anatomy as well as morphology is required in a variety of cardiovascular diseases. Several new imaging modalities have emerged over the last decades and years which provide the physician with new insights and increase diagnostic confidence.
As the major imaging tool in cardiology, echocardiography provides fast and comprehensive cardiac imaging at low cost: Today, transthoracic, transesophageal and intracardiac echocardiography not only help in diagnosing cardiovascular disease but also in guiding treatment e.g. in patients undergoing interventional ASD closure or pulmonary vein ablation by enabling accurate real-time visualization of devices. The introduction of real-time full-volume imaging with the Acuson SC2000 will change the standard of care in echocardiography.
Still the gold standard for coronary artery assessment, x-ray coronary angiography is the basis for percutaneous interventions or surgical therapy in significant Coronary Artery Disease. With new tools such as syngo IC3D or syngo DynaCT, 3D coronary imaging and CT-like cross-sectional imaging is possible directly in the cath lab. syngo DynaCT provides CT-like soft tissue differentiation, which is especially beneficial in new procedures like Transcatheter aortic valve implantation or aortic interventions.
Cardiac Molecular Imaging
Apart from established indications, nuclear cardiology with higher resolution and highly specific tracers can help clinicians and researchers to support novel approaches such as stem cell therapy and plaque imaging. But also innovations like IQ SPECT reduce acquisition times by ~ 75% while even increasing image quality. Hybrid solutions such as SPECT•CT and PET•CT enable a fast and accurate evaluation of myocardial perfusion and viability as well as coronary morphology.
Coronary CTA using state-of-the-art technology offers very high diagnostic accuracy to rule out significant Coronary Artery Disease and is thus very useful in patients with unclear chest pain. Cardiac CT now offers new possibilities for visualizing coronary arteries and plaques with Dual Energy applications and looks promising for assessment of myocardial perfusion and viability. From image acquisition to post-processing – Cardiac CT provides push-button functionality for maximum ease of use. But even further, with SOMATOM Definition Flash, Cardiac CT can now be performed with very low radiation exposure and without the need for heart-rate lowering medication
As a modality free of ionizing radiation and with high spatial and temporal resolution, Cardiovascular MR allows a comprehensive assessment of the cardiac status including anatomy, morphology, function at rest and under stress, myocardial perfusion and viability. Thus Cardiovascular MR has become a versatile tool in clinical routine, even in complex cases. Today, parallel imaging technology powered by Tim® enables very fast imaging up to real-time Cardiovascular MR with high spatial resolution, in one breath-hold or even in free-breathing.