Advanced Cardiac Imaging

The heart is one of the most vital organs in your body, and at Saint Joseph's Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute, keeping it healthy is our number-one priority. One of the best ways to understand how the heart is functioning -- properly or improperly -- is through heart imaging, also called cardiac imaging. We offer a wide variety of cardiac imaging technology, including cardiac CT scanning, cardiac CTA scanning, and MRI technology, to create detailed pictures, so we may effectively study the complex inner workings of your heart.

For more information, or to make a cardiac imaging appointment, call: (678)-843-6100


CT scan

CT Angiography (Cardiac CTA)

Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan

The Importance of Screening: Calcium Scoring

In medium- and high-risk patients, we can begin to identify atherosclerosis early via coronary risk screening, before adverse effects like heart attack occur. As you age, plaque made up of cholesterol and other lipids (blood fats), calcium and fibrous tissue can build up inside your arteries. Over time, these plaques continue to grow in arterial walls. This process is called atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries, because the plaque buildup thickens the walls of the arteries, narrowing the space through which blood flows.

Preventive screening and heart tests allow us to track how you're doing and to make a heart diagnosis. Calcium scoring -- also referred to as CAC scoring -- is a technique we use to determine the volume of calcified plaque present in your arteries. We will use computed tomography (CT) technology to take pictures of your heart and the surrounding area. Our latest 256-slice CT machine reduces radiation exposure by 80 percent compared to older CT machines, while allowing for more detailed, three-dimensional views. Between 200 and 300 slice images are generally taken over the course of 8 to 10 seconds.

If CT scanning does not provide sufficient information, or if you have symptoms such as chest pain, we may suggest higher-resolution cardiac CT angiography, or cardiac CTA. During this procedure, which also uses the 256-slice CT machine, we inject an intravenous contrast into your arteries so we can discover if there is narrowing of blood vessels in conjunction with the amount of plaque. Rest assured that these tests are safe, and that our techniques minimize radiation exposure as much as possible.

We also perform cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI) scans, and our state-of-the-art equipment is not only the best in the region, but the best in medicine right now. The robust capabilities of MRI are especially helpful for the diagnosis of cardiac masses, structural changes, and weaknesses in the heart muscle (myocardium).

Expert Analyses Lead to Expert Care Plans

All of our coronary screening analyses are done by trained cardiologists, not assistants or technicians. We will typically provide you with results within 24 hours. Your physician will also discuss all aspects of your care with you and, based upon what your images reveal, may recommend lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery.

We offer special screening programs for groups such as women, seniors, and firefighters (emergency personnel are three times more likely to have a heart attack than other people), and take great pride in the work we do for all who come through our doors. We are here for you and your family, and are partners in your journey. Please do not hesitate to call us at (877) 250-STJO if you have any questions. We're here to help.

Contact Us

Outpatient Imaging - Saint Joseph's
5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30342
(678) 843-6100

Outpatient Imaging - Center Pointe
1100 Johnson Ferry Road
Building III, Suite LL90
Atlanta, GA 30342
(678) 843-6200

Outpatient Imaging - Gwinnett
755 Walther Road
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
(678) 843-9997