Chest pains, shortness of breath and palpitations are indicators of possible heart disease. In the past, the initial course of diagnostic evaluation for cardiovascular disease would have been a treadmill stress test or a cardiac catheterization.
Today, the potential for non-invasive assessment of the heart has improved dramatically with the continued growth and development of cardiac computed tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), 3-dimensional echocardiography (3-D echo), and nuclear cardiac imaging.
The traditional stress test shows the heart's function and how it performs under exertion such as walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike. In cardiac catheterization, the cardiologist examines the valves, arteries, and chambers via the use of contrast dye and a catheter inserted into the groin or arm.
Non-Invasive Cardiac Assessment offers several advantages:
- Less invasive
- Complimentary assessment of cardiac anatomy and function
- Potential for limited or no radiation exposure
- Potential for avoidance of iodinated contrast materials
- Quantification of cardiac valvular abnormalities