Pediatric Cardiac Imaging
The Pediatric Heart Center at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) provides cutting-edge cardiac imaging services to support the highly specialized teams of physicians and healthcare providers caring for children with congenital and acquired heart diseases. Sophisticated cardiac imaging technology allows for a more comprehensive and precise diagnosis when evaluating children with heart disease. Noninvasive imaging gives providers a more complete picture of any abnormalities of the heart’s anatomy, as well as its physiology. This evaluation provides the cardiologist and cardiac surgeon with the information necessary to formulate a rational approach to managing the patient’s heart disease.
Under the direction of Leo Lopez, MD, Director of Noninvasive Imaging, the cardiac imaging team at CHAM is intensely involved in the performance and interpretation of transthoracic echocardiograms, transesophageal echocardiograms, fetal echocardiograms, intracardiac echocardiograms, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, and cardiac computer tomography (CT) studies. The team has special interest in complex congenital cardiac malformations, and all imaging studies are directed toward obtaining the most comprehensive set of anatomic and physiologic data to provide the best possible service to each individual patient.
The Echocardiography Laboratory performs more than 7,000 echocardiograms per year at CHAM and at several other satellite centers. In addition to two-dimensional imaging and color Doppler analysis to characterize the way blood flows in the heart, the Echocardiography Laboratory uses such advanced technologies as three-dimensional echocardiography, tissue Doppler analysis, and speckle tracking to measure strain and strain rate as a way to evaluate the function of the heart muscle. The laboratory also provides support for many of the surgical procedures in the operating room and interventions in the Catheterization Laboratory, with expert physicians performing transesophageal or intracardiac echocardiograms.
Research endeavors being pursued by members of CHAM's Cardiac Imaging team include:
- Evaluating cardiovascular complications associated with sickle cell disease
- Evaluating cardiovascular complications associated with hypertension
- Comparing newer modalities to assess heart muscle function with established methods
- Developing a Web-based teaching tool utilizing echocardiograms to teach medical students about congenital heart diseases
- Establishing normal and abnormal reference values for the sizes of structures in the heart
- Using newer technologies to evaluate heart muscle function in children and adolescents after heart transplantation