In 2003, when we first started performing cardiac MRI, imaging the moving, pumping heart was groundbreaking. In those days, we performed a couple of studies each week. However, as our skills improved and the technology expanded, the demand for cardiac MRI grew. In 2004, we performed 44 studies the entire year; now, 10 years later, we have performed over 500 cardiac MRs in the first 6 months of 2014. Because we play a role in caring for so many children with heart disorders, we now have an MRI suite dedicated to cardiovascular imaging. This new machine is our Philips 1.5T MRI scanner located on the sixth floor, next to the cardiac intensive care unit and catheterization lab.
With these detailed scans of the heart we are able to observe both anatomy and function. This not only allows the radiologist and cardiologist to see how your child’s heart looks, but it also enables them to view the moving, pumping power of the working heart. After the scanning is complete, we call upon our post-processors here at Cincinnati Children’s to create 3D digital models of the heart and measure specific features (such as the diameter of important vessels and the direction of blood flow). Once the images have been captured and the digital models have been created, we finally send all that information to both the radiologist and cardiologist for reading and report.
It takes a team of specialists to take care of children with complex heart diseases. That’s why we make sure every MRI of the heart is read by both a radiologist and a cardiologist. This team approach allows us to focus on all of the issues that affect your child and increases the quality of care we provide every day.
This post is dedicated to Dr. William Gottliebson, as one of the early driving forces behind starting a cardiovascular MRI service at Cincinnati Children’s. Dr. Bill, as he was known to many of patients, was a fun-loving, energetic person who was deeply committed to caring for children, colleagues and his family.
Written by Dr. Robert Fleck and edited by Tony Dandino, RT.