b'10 2021 I N N O V A T I V E T E C H N O L O G Y A N D P R O C E D U R E S | E X P E R T C A R E | W E A R E H E R EEnhanced Cardiac CT and MRI ImagingAdvanced cardiac imaging procedures that produce three-dimensional images of the moving heart have been important developments in improving treatment capabilities at Concord Hospital Cardiovascular Institute over the last 10-15 years. The enhanced imaging is even more important now, as specialists increasingly rely on vivid, detailed images to help diagnose, then treat heart disease and defects, often with minimally invasive techniques.Concord Hospital has been a leader in three-dimensional cardiac imaging, helping pave the way for successful, advanced treatment that is saving lives and preserving lifestyles.Three-dimensional CT and MRI imaging can be the cornerstone of safe planning and positive outcomes, said cardiologist and Associate Chief Clinical Officer for Cardiovascular Services Dr. Michael Newton. To some extent, those cardiac treatments could not exist without having these imaging capabilities at this Hospital. Three-dimension cardiac images have helped doctors better understand four main focus areas: rhythm problems, valve problems, heart artery problems and heart muscle conditions. At times, the images are crucial to diagnosing ailments and charting appropriate treatment. In some cases, the images can help cardiac specialists to discover a specifi c problem, instead of having to narrow down a diagnosis by excluding other potential causes.Cardiac MRI or CT information sometimes can give you the clarity and theMichael Newton, MDconfi dence to have that ah ha momentOh, its this problem because I can see it now, said Dr. Newton. In diagnostic imaging, if you get more clarity and increase your ability to image other features of the actual disease process thats going on, you can sometimes be more accurate with your diagnosis. CT or MRI images also can help map new, delicate treatment procedures, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, in which defective aortic heart valves are replaced by new valves that are maneuvered into the heart through blood vessels, not with open-heart surgery. Specialists also can use cardiac mapping to target arrhythmias that cause abnormal heartbeat, and in some cases to ensure it is safe to implant WATCHMAN devices in the heart to help prevent blood clots and stroke. CT and MRI scans both provide three-dimensional images of the moving heart. CT scans can provide more clear and defi nite anatomic details in some cases, though MRI off ers doctors more fl exibility to study the severity of valve problems, the nature of masses or tumors in the heart, and the condition of the muscle tissue of the heart.The choice of which scan is used for a specifi c patient is determined by factors including what information a doctor is looking for or which technique will provide the clearest images. MRI has the advantage of using no X-ray radiation to obtain the images.Concord Hospital specialists perform approximately 280 cardiac CT scans annually, and up to 100 MRI scans. The numbers are increasing, thanks to increasing awareness of their value and an increase in the use of advanced minimally invasive treatment procedures.Also, Dr. Newton said the technology has matured from being primarily a research tool to an established procedure with proven clinical value over the past 20 years. In cardiac MRI, Concord Hospital has been a leader in the state, receiving referrals for patient studies from all over New Hampshire.Most hospitals our size, or even larger, are new at this, he said. We are not. We have been doing this for 10-15 years now. We have a great system, long experience and a great department. That sets us apart.'