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Cardiovascular Imaging

Diagnostic Radiology
Fig. 1: 3D and 2D image of healthy coronary vessels

Fig. 1: 3D and 2D image of healthy coronary vessels

Computed tomography of the heart is a method of imaging the vessels which supply blood to the heart (coronary vessels) without catheter examination and without pain.

The latest generation of computer tomographs (Multislice and Dual-Source CT) is able to “freeze” the heart between beats in order to take a 3D picture of the heart within a few seconds.

Cardio-CT: for whom is it useful?

Cardio-CT can be suitable for men and women older than 40 who do not show the typical symptoms of coronary heart disease, but who according to their family doctor, internal specialist or cardiologist have a respective risk profile (fig. 2 and 3).

Fig. 2 & 3

The examination is also helpful to monitor patients during drug therapy or after bypass surgery (fig. 4).

Fig. 2: CT and catheter examination compared: severe stenosis of the right coronary artery caused by arteriosclerotic plaque.

Fig. 3: Image of an anatomic coronary artery anomaly. The right coronary artery runs between the aorta and the pulmonary artery. Under physical stress, it can be incarcerated with the risk of sudden cardiac death.

Fig. 4: Condition after triple bypass surgery

Fig. 4: Condition after triple bypass surgery

How is a Cardio-CT scan performed?

The examination takes place in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. It is painless and can be carried out on an outpatient basis. The patient lies on the examination table and is connected to an electrocardiograph and an intravenous line.

If necessary, a drug reducing the heart rate will be administered. After recording overall views, the scanner will record a set of data to measure coronary calcification and another one to visualize the coronary vessels while the table is moving through the scanner. At the same time, the contrast medium will be applied via the intravenous line. The entire process including all preparations will take about 10 minutes.


Magnetic resonance imaging of the heart shows all information concerning the heart chambers, their function and the exact characterization of alterations and impairments of the contracting heart muscle. An MRI of the left ventricle enables us to define the efficacy of blood which is being pumped into the aorta. This examination doesn’t even necessarily require the infusion of a contrast substance. Furthermore, this method allows for determination of scary tissue after myocardial infraction or infection.