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Cardiac Diagnostic Imaging Services

One of the most powerful tools Tanner offers to take control of cardiovascular disease is its diagnostic imaging capabilities. These procedures allow Tanner’s team of heart specialists to gain more information on each patient’s heart, including how well it works, if there are any blockages in the arteries around it, if the heart has any anatomical problems and more.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization (also called coronary angiogram or angiography) is a test in which a small, hollow tube called a catheter is guided through the large artery in the upper leg, wrist or arm into the heart. Dye is released through the catheter, and moving X-ray pictures are made as the dye travels through the heart. This comprehensive test shows narrowed areas in the arteries, heart chamber size, pumping ability of the heart and ability of the valves to open and close, as well as a measurement of the pressures within the heart chambers and arteries.

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Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring

A computer tomography (CT) scan — sometimes called a "CAT" scan — uses X-rays and a powerful computer to generate clear images of bones, internal organs, soft tissue and blood vessels. One popular use of CT technology is cardiac calcium scoring, which can allow a medical provider to diagnose the presence and extent of calcified plaque inside the coronary arteries that supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood. The results of the test are called a "calcium score." A negative scan means that no calcification is present in the coronary arters, while a positive test means that atherosclerosis, or coronary artery disease (CAD), is present.

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Cardiac CT Scan

A computer tomography (CT) scan — sometimes called a "CAT" scan — uses X-rays and a powerful computer to generate clear images of bones, internal organs, soft tissue and blood vessels. Because of a CT machine's ability to quickly capture images from multiple angels, the computer is able to generate coss-sectional images and even three-dimensional images, enabling cardiologists to clearly see the anatomical structures of the heart, arteries and surrounding tissues, make more accurate diagnoses and better plan a course of treatment.

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Cardiac PET/CT

PET/CT is a combination of two advanced, highly sophisticated diagnostic imaging techniques that enable physicians to gain a clearer, more detailed picture of the body’s anatomical structures.

Positron emission tomography, or PET, uses a radioactive drug called a “tracer” that pools in areas of the body with elevated levels of chemical activity. Higher chemical activity often indicates an area that’s diseased.

Computed tomography, or CT (also called a “CAT scan”), involves collecting a series of X-ray images taken in rapid succession from different angles. A computer processes those images to create crosssection views of anatomical structures. Combined, PET/CT gives us a powerful tool to diagnose disease, including cardiovascular disease.

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Echocardiography is similar to the ultrasound that women receive when they are pregnant. A device emits highfrequency sound waves that bounce off the heart and return to the device, which then transmits the information to a computer that generates an image of the heart.

The echocardiogram is generally noninvasive, with the transponder that emits the sound waves used on the surface of the skin. Sometimes, a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is necessary to receive clearer images of the heart or to view the heart from a different angle. With TEE, the transponder is maneuvered down the throat into the esophagus to obtain readings from within the chest. Patients are under mild sedation during TEE procedures.

Tanner also offers pediatric echocardiology services.

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Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a specialized type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedure used to evaluate blood vessels in the heart. Non-contrast MRA, which uses an MRI system’s powerful magnet to manipulate the iron in a patient’s blood, read how the iron responds and capture extremely detailed images — all without contrast and without radiation — is used to help diagnose a number of blood vessel conditions, including problems with the aorta and the blood vessels that supply all major organs and extremities.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart is a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. MRI of the heart may be used to evaluate the heart valves and major vessels, detect coronary artery disease and the extent of damage it has caused, evaluate congenital defects and detect the presence of tumors or other abnormalities. The cardiac MRI may be used prior to other cardiac procedures such as angioplasty or stenting of the coronary arteries and cardiac or vascular surgery.

To find a cardiologist on Tanner's medical staff, click Our Team or call 770.214.CARE for a physician referral.

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