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Cardiac Imaging For a Healthy Heart

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Cardiology India
Dr Deepak Shinde

Dr Deepak Shinde

It is the teamwork of cardiologist department and the radiology department that works wonders for the patient, says Dr Deepak Shinde, Interventional Cardiologist, Kohinoor Hospital.

New Imaging trends in cardiology
CT Coronary Angiography is a technique that has become popular in recent times due to their low radiations and better imaginary advantages. This is a technique to diagnose coronary heart disease. A related procedure is the CT Cardiac Calcium Score. This uses computed tomography to check the accumulation of calcium or plaque on the walls of the arteries. These are essential to diagnose and treat heart ailments in early stages for the patients. One of our health insurance partner has both these test listed in their corporate health check plans as a routine.

That is very beneficial for the patients as they get an in-depth analysis on the health of their heart; in addition it is an advantage for us to know of critical patients and early stages of their disease cycle.

The advantages of Cardiac MRI
Cardiac MRI is similar to CT Coronary Angiography with another dimension and we come to know in details of heart pericardium, muscles, damage status. And these are routine abroad and are yet to arrive in India and are gold standard as their data is considered. In India, we suggest this only to specific group of patients with congenital heart diseases and cardiomyopathy. Radiology investigations are coming close to cardiology in recent times with major advantage for clinicians to make decisions and plan on surgery of patients.

Also read: Cardiology Trends and Technology

Current Trends in Diagnostics
In the new techniques that are used for diagnostics and therapeutics are concerned for coronary angiography, is that, on tools to help us with accurate data of pressure, volume and other critical parameters almost the same over the years. The trend is now moving towards more of coronary angiography being done through the radial route due to the techniques that have evolved with improved devices especially the catheters and hardware. In addition to that significant developments has been the tools that provide us with data to help decide on the decision for going ahead for a surgery or not, particularly in the borderline cases. This includes fractional flow reserve (FFR) used to identify if the blockage is normal or critical to resolve the dilemma of surgery. During the angiography, we transfer a pressure wire across the blockage and as it has a transducer at the tip of the wire, it measures the pressure difference between the blockages to suggest if the extent of blockage is leading to an inflow limitation. Second technique is Intra-Vascular Ultrasound (IVUS) that is a medical imaging method to study the details of the blockage by visualizations of the blood vessels especially plaque that cannot be seen by angiography. It gives us estimates of the vessel that is calcified, diameter of arteries and many more such details that help us plan the procedure and post-surgery assessment of the vessels.

Intra-Vascular Ultrasound helps us for extensive details of the blockage by visualizations of the blood vessels especially plaque

Role of radiology in cardiology
Radiology is a branch of science that is critical to the medical practice; a lot depends on the radiologist today to make the most of his experience in this field and excel in his practice, interpretation and reports. As it is always the man behind the machine that brings knowledge and intelligence to a specialty doctor in their reports “ its always a team effort of the radiologist and the specialist doctor that works best for the patients.

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