Services & Specialties

Advanced Cardiac Imaging

Ohio Heart offers new and powerful screening tools for coronary artery disease detection.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Until recently, the noninvasive procedures used to detect coronary artery disease (CAD) were only effective at diagnosing relatively advanced cases, so diagnosis usually required a surgical procedure such as a coronary angioplasty. Diagnosis is also complicated by the fact that patients with CAD may not exhibit symptoms until very late in the disease process.

Cardiac CTA and Calcium Scoring
The Ohio Heart & Vascular Center has a leading advanced cardiac imaging subspecialty program focused on early detection and treatment of CAD. Calcium scoring is one of the new detection tools we use that can detect calcium in the walls of the coronary arteries. This test takes about 10 minutes and may provide critical information about the health of the heart arteries. Calcium in the coronary arteries is a marker for the presence of coronary artery plaque and indicates that a patient has CAD.

Calcium in the coronary arteries alone does not provide information about the severity or exact location of a blockage. For this, our physicians are using cardiac computed tomographic angiography, or cardiac CTA, a diagnostic test that evaluates patients with chest pain or other possible cardiac symptoms. A CT scan utilizes X-Rays to visualize the coronary arteries themselves and takes about 20-30 minutes. Unlike a calcium score, a cardiac CTA exam requires the injection of contrast or dye, which travels through the veins to the heart and subsequently into the coronary arteries. The dye is then imaged by the CT Scanner, which provides beautiful images of the heart and its arteries. Cardiac CTA may also identify other abnormalities within the heart and chest cavity that may explain a patient’s symptoms. This test is more extensive than calcium scoring alone (but remains much less invasive than cardiac catheterization) and is used as a diagnostic test for chest pain or other cardiac symptoms.
Both calcium scoring and cardiac CTA should be viewed as two of many testing options used to screen for CAD and to diagnose CAD in patients whose symptoms are consistent with this diagnosis. We take into account many factors before deciding which test is appropriate for each individual patient. Our physicians are level III trained in coronary CT angiography and board certified in Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, placing them at the top in the country and among only a handful world-wide.

Cardiac testing with low-dose radiation
The Ohio Heart & Vascular Center is committed to providing the safest, most effective cardiovascular care available. That’s why we’re now offering low-dose radiation options for heart scans.

The Promise Trial
Ohio Heart is working with The Linder Center for Research & Education at The Christ Hospital to provide the Tristate with the latest in imaging research. Every year four to five million patients with chest pain have non-invasive tests to find out if the cause is CAD. The PROMISE trial (PROspective Multicenter Imaging Study for Evaluation of Chest Pain) compares the effectiveness of two different types of testing; traditional stress testing (functional) and CT guided (anatomic), in patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). For more information call (513)585-1737.

Our Advanced Imaging Experts:
Gregory B. Clarke, MD, FACC
Wojciech Mazur, MD, FACC
John J. Szawaluk, MD, FACC, FAHA