Cardiothoracic imaging focuses on procedures that visualize the chest and its contents. The most common areas include:
- Cardiovascular structures
- Thoracic soft tissues
- Regional skeleton
Common Cardiothoracic Imaging Procedures
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
- 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.