Cardiothoracic Imaging

Cardiothoracic imaging focuses on procedures that visualize the chest and its contents. The most common areas include:

  • Lungs
  • Pleura
  • Mediastinum
  • Cardiovascular structures
  • Thoracic soft tissues
  • Regional skeleton

Common Cardiothoracic Imaging Procedures

Chest Radiograph

The chest radiograph is the most commonly performed imaging procedure. It is easily obtained, inexpensive and provides important information with minimal radiation exposure.

Computed Tomography (CT Scanning)

Chest CT scanning adds a different dimension than chest radiography. It uses high contrast resolution and volumetric imaging, free of superimposition of structures.

Multiple intrathoracic diseases are diagnosed with the help of chest radiography and CT scanning, including:

  • Primary lung cancer
  • Metastatic disease
  • Solitary pulmonary nodules
  • Inflammatory and infectious diseases of the thorax
  • Trauma
  • Diffuse lung diseases
  • Occupational lung diseases

Cardiovascular indications have amplified the importance of CT scanning.CT pulmonary arteriography, CT aortography and cardiac CT scanning have created new possibilities in imaging of the intrathoracic organs and their pathology.

Using CT scans, the following can be diagnosed quickly and noninvasively:

  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Aortic aneurysms
  • Aortic dissections
  • Coronary calcification
  • Coronary obstructions

Magentic Resonance Imaging

Cardiac MRI has added a new dimension and allows morphologic and functional imaging as well as assessment of myocardial perfusion and viability.