Shin­ing the spot­light on car­diac imag­ing

Sunday Tribune - - METRO - (Source:­ter­na­tion­al­day­ofra­di­ol­

ON Thurs­day, Novem­ber 8, ra­di­ol­o­gists, ra­dio­g­ra­phers, ra­di­o­log­i­cal tech­nol­o­gists and pro­fes­sion­als from re­lated fields cel­e­brated the sev­enth In­ter­na­tional Day of Ra­di­ol­ogy (IDOR 2018) all over the world.

The In­ter­na­tional Day of Ra­di­ol­ogy is an an­nual event held with the aim of:

• build­ing greater aware­ness of the value that ra­di­ol­ogy con­trib­utes to safe pa­tient care; and

• im­prov­ing un­der­stand­ing of the vi­tal role ra­di­ol­o­gists and ra­di­o­log­i­cal tech­nol­o­gists play in the health­care con­tin­uum.

Med­i­cal imag­ing is one of the most ex­cit­ing and pro­gres­sive dis­ci­plines in health­care and a field of great ac­tiv­ity in terms of tech­no­log­i­cal and bi­o­log­i­cal re­search. X-rays, MRI scans, ul­tra­sound and nu­mer­ous other med­i­cal imag­ing tech­nolo­gies, as well as the eye-catch­ing im­ages as­so­ci­ated with them, are known to many peo­ple. How­ever, the ex­act pur­pose and value of these ser­vices is not widely un­der­stood.

Novem­ber 8, the day that Wil­helm Con­rad Rönt­gen dis­cov­ered the ex­is­tence of X-rays in 1895, was there­fore cho­sen as a day of ac­tion and aware­ness. The aim is to alert the world to the stun­ning med­i­cal, sci­en­tific and even artis­tic pos­si­bil­i­ties of med­i­cal imag­ing, the es­sen­tial role of ra­di­ol­o­gists and ra­dio­g­ra­phers as parts of the health­care team in countless med­i­cal sce­nar­ios, and the high ed­u­ca­tional and pro­fes­sional stan­dards re­quired of all staff work­ing in med­i­cal imag­ing.

Car­diac imag­ing has been cho­sen as the main theme of this year’s IDOR, to high­light the es­sen­tial role that imag­ing pro­fes­sion­als play in the de­tec­tion, di­ag­no­sis and man­age­ment of car­diac dis­eases – in­creas­ing the qual­ity of care and treat­ment of pa­tients.

Car­diac imag­ing is a fast-grow­ing sub­spe­cialty of di­ag­nos­tic ra­di­ol­ogy that plays a huge part in the as­sess­ment and man­age­ment of heart pa­tients through­out the world. Car­diac ra­di­ol­o­gists – the ex­perts in charge – su­per­vise or per­form imag­ing ex­am­i­na­tions, us­ing tech­nol­ogy such as com­puted to­mog­ra­phy (CT) and mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing (MRI), and then in­ter­pret the re­sult­ing im­ages to di­ag­nose and mon­i­tor a wide range of dis­eases of the heart.

IDOR 2018 high­lights the in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role of ra­di­ol­o­gists in car­diac care. This crit­i­cal role in­cludes con­tribut­ing to the di­ag­no­sis, pre-pro­ce­dural work-up and fol­low-up of pa­tients with a wide va­ri­ety of car­diac pathol­ogy – from coro­nary artery dis­ease and leaky heart valves to de­fects in the size and shape of the heart.

While car­diac imag­ing as a whole in­cor­po­rates con­ven­tional an­giog­ra­phy of the coro­nary ar­ter­ies, echocar­dio­g­ra­phy and nu­clear imag­ing stud­ies, the con­tri­bu­tion of ra­di­ol­o­gists lies pri­mar­ily in the fast-evolv­ing non-in­va­sive imag­ing as­sess­ment of car­diac and coro­nary dis­ease, help­ing clin­i­cians to di­ag­nose a wide va­ri­ety of pos­si­ble patholo­gies.

The most im­por­tant imag­ing modal­i­ties in car­diac ra­di­ol­ogy are com­puted to­mog­ra­phy (CT) and mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing (MRI).

Car­diac CT has gained an im­por­tant place in the non-in­va­sive eval­u­a­tion of po­ten­tial coro­nary artery dis­ease, help­ing re­fer­ring clin­i­cians to rule out sig­nif­i­cant coro­nary artery dis­ease, for ex­am­ple, in pa­tients with non-spe­cific symp­toms, and other in­con­clu­sive ex­am­i­na­tions. It also plays a prom­i­nent role in the pre-pro­ce­dural as­sess­ment of novel tran­scatheter aor­tic and mi­tral valve re­place­ment pro­ce­dures.

Car­diac MRI is mostly used to fo­cus on car­diac mor­phol­ogy and tis­sue char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion, help­ing in the de­tec­tion and char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion of car­diomy­opathies, con­gen­i­tal heart dis­ease, dif­fer­ent types of scar tis­sue, and in the eval­u­a­tion of valvu­lar heart dis­ease.

To take a look at the var­i­ous IDOR events and cel­e­bra­tions held across the world, visit the In­ter­na­tional Day of Ra­di­ol­ogy Face­book page.

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