Heart Diagnostics and Imaging
To diagnose and treat heart disease, doctors use many tools. The University of Kansas Health System offers today's leading, advanced cardiac diagnostic tests and imaging equipment in Kansas City. Our certified sonographers are able to capture detailed pictures of your heart, arteries and veins, as well as their activities. This helps ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis and minimizes the need for additional testing.
Our physicians stay up to date on the most current trends in cardiology to provide you the best care.
Innovation in diagnostics and imaging
Technology is constantly changing, and The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City is keeping up. That's why we are always adding new equipment for cardiac diagnostic testing and imaging.
Because there are so many different types of heart disease, and numerous treatment options depending on the condition, accurate diagnosis is critical. Using the most advanced screening techniques available, we can better determine the underlying cause of your heart problem and reduce the amount of testing needed.
Those with chest pain and signs of coronary artery disease can benefit from this revolutionary diagnostic technology. HeartFlow Analysis is noninvasive imaging technology that uses information gathered from a CT scan to determine if arteries in the heart are too narrow. HeartFlow creates a realistic, color-coded 3D model of your heart and calculates how much each blockage stops blood flow. This detailed map helps your doctor know vessel-by-vessel if the heart is getting enough blood.
HeartFlow is the first of its kind to provide important information about the heart in a noninvasive way. It can help some people avoid more invasive tests, such as an angiogram.
SOMATOM® Definition Flash
The fastest cardiac scanner in the industry, this 128-slice CT scanner uses dual-energy that allows our team to see clear images of the heart and coronary arteries in a noninvasive way, at low risk to you. The SOMATOM offers advanced capabilities, including:
- Accurate diagnosis: The SOMATOM allows physicians to rule out coronary artery disease in less than 1 minute. Our expert team can also determine if arteries are blocked and how severely, thus avoiding diagnostic catheterization for some people. This means a reduced risk of complications, decreased time spent in testing and less expense for you.
- Single heartbeat imaging: Physicians can capture images of the whole heart and coronary arteries within a single heartbeat, allowing pediatric or trauma patients to be scanned without sedation or breath-holding.
- Triple rule-out: Three primary causes of mortality in patients with chest pain are aortic dissection, pulmonary embolism and coronary artery disease. This tool will help our physicians determine the cause of a patient's chest pain through a single split-second scan (0.7 seconds), rather than requiring multiple tests, as in the past.
- Reduced radiation exposure: The SOMATOM sets the bar for low-dose radiation because it offers comprehensive dose-reduction software that delivers the least amount of radiation necessary to obtain the best possible images.
We are the first in the region to use the new D-SPECT camera clinically. The D-SPECT is a state-of-the-art nuclear imaging stress test. The D-SPECT camera provides better and safer imaging with less radiation in less time. It's just one of the many ways our doctors are working to reduce the amount of radiation required for cardiac imaging.
- It shortens the test time from 10-15 minutes to 3-5 minutes.
- It cuts the amount of radiation you receive by at least half, and in some cases 75%.
- Traditional nuclear cameras can only image patients up to a certain body weight. Patients up to 542 pounds can be imaged with the D-SPECT camera.
Zero-radiation cardiac MRI stress test
This advanced machine allows cardiac stress testing with no radiation. It also helps diagnose obese patients, who may have had problems with other tests.
Why choose us
- We offer the most current imaging tests to meet your needs. Our imaging specialists are among the most highly trained and experienced in the nation.
- Our high volume of echocardiograms sets us apart. We conducted 26,000 echo procedures in 2015.
- We have 26 cardiac and vascular imaging specialists, called sonographers, on staff and are growing. All are certified in echo and vascular imaging.
- All nuclear imaging labs are certified by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories.
- Our nuclear technologists are certified in nuclear cardiology.
- The cardiac and vascular ultrasound imaging labs are certified by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography and Vascular Laboratories.
- Our sonographers have more than 330 years of combined experience.
What to expect
You will receive instructions from your doctor prior to your test. How you prepare will depend on the type of test you receive. Generally, we ask that you:
- Tell your nurse or technician if you have allergies, are pregnant or are nursing.
- Don't eat or drink the morning of your test. You may have a couple of sips of water. Don't drink coffee, tea, soft drinks or any other caffeinated fluids, and don't eat chocolate or any other food with caffeine for 12 hours before your test. Caffeine may change the test results.
- Bring a list of your current medicines.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about taking medicines before the test.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. If you are having a cardiac MRI stress test, we ask that you dress accordingly and bring a pair of athletic shoes.
Once your test results are obtained, your care team will discuss your diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. They may also request additional tests if needed.