Cardiac Imaging Unit

A CT of the heart, often called “virtual catheterization,” is a CT scan conducted in line with the heart’s mobility (ECG-gated). The test is performed in the Imaging Institute using the new and fast Siemens Flash CT Scanner.

Shaare Zedek’s Cardiac Imaging Unit has a number of significant advantages:
•    The CT scanner’s unique speed allows us to test the vast majority of patients, irrespective of any significant pulse changes (which is a limitation in other scanners.)
•    The scanner’s speed also enables us to examine patients who find it hard to hold their breath for any length of time. The significance of this is that we can conduct the tests on a wide range of patients (almost without any limitations), with excellent results compared to those of other scanners.
•    Thanks to the experience of the Unit team and a combination of innovative and special technologies for reducing radiation, we are able to conduct the test at the very lowest radiation levels in the majority of cases. For example, we are able to lower exposure to around 1 millisievert (mSv), compared to 3-15 mSv in similar tests conducted in Israel. To emphasize the point, radiation levels in cardiac mapping range from 10-25 mSv and in diagnostic catheterization it is approximately 7 mSv. In general, we can say that reducing radiation amounts is critical and all the more important in younger patients (under 60) and women.
•    A further advantage is minimal exposure to the contrasting agent injected during the test.
•    It is also worthy to note that appointment availability is high.

Cardiac MRI

In recent years, the MRI machine has earned a significant position in clarifying cardiac disease in both children and adults, and with an increasing range of indications. Rapid technological development now allows us to perform clinical tests in reasonable time and at reasonable cost.

Originally, the main use of cardiac and blood cell MRI tests was to clarify congenital heart and blood cell defects, but today we have expanded to check various cardiomyopathies, myocarditis, evaluate the involvement of tumors on the heart and mediastinum, ischemic heart disease and more.

In order to conduct top quality heart MRI tests, one needs an MRI machine that has the unique abilities to perform the test. Therefore we need a secure work station equipped with specific software allowing post processing of pictures and data. The station is crucial because it generates the 3-D processes, computerizes the capacity and flow speeds via blood cells and valves, heart compartment capacity and functioning, and more. Because the tests are so varied and technically complex, our team of technicians, cardiologist and radiologists undergoes a lengthy Cardiac Imaging training program over a number of years. 

The Cardiac Imaging Institute at Shaare Zedek has two new Siemens scanners (1.5 and 3T), equipped with the best tools for conducting Cardiac MRI tests using the most updated methods in the medical world. We also recently acquired a new heart test reading station (CVi 42), enabling specific analyses at maximum precision, far more accurate than the regular work stations in use in Israel today. As far as we know, the only work station of this type in the country is located here at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

The team at the Cardiac Imaging Unit is comprised of doctors and technicians experienced in conducting these tests on children and adults alike. And appointment availability is high compared to similar centers around the country.

All the tests are conducted in the presence of and under the supervision of the doctors in the Cardiac Imagery Unit, while adapting the protocol and scanning method to each individual patient.

The Unit’s doctors are available to answer any questions you may have.

Tests offered in the Shaare Zedek Medical Center:
•    Calcium Score – measuring calcification in the coronary arteries
•    Cardiac CT – for all indications – simulation of arteries, TAVI, PVI and other needs
•    Cardiac MRI – for all the common indications including tests on children (excluding perfusion MRI, which can be discussed separately)
•    Cardiac mapping