Heart Disease Detection and Diagnosis
Mount Sinai Heart is a pioneer in cardiovascular imaging. Our cardiovascular imaging center features the newest and most advanced diagnostic equipment available, and our doctors are experts at performing and interpreting imaging tests.
In a worldwide first, our physician scientists have developed a way to combine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron electron tomography (PET) in one machine. Using the technologies together helps detect disease earlier, when it's more likely to be treatable.
"This technique is helping us track and pinpoint plaque formation, and that leads to earlier detection, earlier diagnosis, and better treatments," says Zahi A. Fayad, PhD, Professor of Cardiology and Director of the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute.
Program for Diagnostic and Preventive Medicine
Mount Sinai Heart offers the most complete health assessment in the New York metropolitan area. Patients participating in our diagnostic and preventive medicine program spend a full day at the hospital, where they receive complete assessments of their heart, lungs, and other organs. Our goal is to detect disease in its most treatable stages, before symptoms appear.
"This program gives people access to some of the best resources at Mount Sinai," says Jonathan L. Halperin, MD, Professor of Cardiology and Director of Clinical Cardiology Services. "It is the most comprehensive, single-day health assessment people can find, right here in New York City."
Our diagnostic and preventive medicine program offers a high level of personalized service. A concierge greets patients as they arrive. A program coordinator schedules the tests and escorts patients from one to the next. State-of-the-art imaging technology will provide a detailed assessment of every body system, with results available for review and analysis by physicians that same day.
Although patients receive tests covering all parts of the body, the program focuses predominantly on the heart because heart disease is the leading cause of death. Program features include:
- Complete medical history and physical exam
- Full-spectrum blood and urine tests
- Cardiovascular assessment
- Pulmonary assessment
- Gastrointestinal evaluation
- Evaluation of the urinary system and reproductive organs
- Endocrine evaluation
- Mammography and pelvic exam
- Neuromuscular and skeletal exam
- Vision and hearing exam
- Dermatological exam
At the end of the day, patients meet with the coordinating physician to go over their test results. They take home a dossier with reports, images, and recommendations to review with their personal physician. The program can be customized to meet a patient's specific needs.
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program
Heart disease does not usually develop suddenly. From a very early age, blood vessels are compromised by such factors as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation. Unhealthy behaviors, for instance smoking, poor diet, or lack of exercise, compound the danger. People enrolled in the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program learn how to modify their behavior to stave off illness — from what to eat for lunch to using the stairs instead of the elevator.
The Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Program is designed for people at risk of heart disease, who have evidence of heart disease, or who have already experienced a cardiac event, such as heart attack or stroke. Because the majority of people with heart disease do not realize they have it, the program is open to anyone interested. Program features include:
- Behavioral Risk assessment
- Medical risk assessment
- Comprehensive treatment plan
- Lifestyle modification
The relentless assault of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, on blood vessels can damage the vessels’ lining, causing them to weaken and thicken. High blood pressure is an almost certain precursor for a series of problems, such as poor memory, eye disease, kidney disease, aneurysms, heart attack, and stroke.
Mount Sinai Heart cardiologists have vast experience investigating both common and rare causes for high blood pressure. Our hypertension program, led by Lawrence R. Krakoff, MD, Professor of Medicine, offers a comprehensive approach to detecting and managing this condition.
Patients in the program benefit from a comprehensive effort to manage their blood pressure. This may include 24-hour at-home monitoring, coordinated assessments with other specialists to identify less common types of hypertension, and counseling about healthy food choices, weight control, and other changes in behavior that can reduce risk.
Pulmonary Hypertension Program
This comprehensive program offers premier service to patients diagnosed with high blood pressure in the vessels of the lungs, a condition called pulmonary hypertension. Top cardiologists and pulmonologists join nurses, social workers, and nutritionists to help patients maintain a proper diet and activity level.
High-Risk Plaque Initiative
Plaque is a deposit of fatty materials that can narrow or block arteries, resulting in atherosclerosis. If plaques become unstable or rupture, life-threatening blood clots can form and cause heart attack or stroke. The High-Risk Plaque Initiative uses state-of-the-art imaging techniques to identify people at risk for plaque buildup before a catastrophic event occurs.
Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Professor of Cardiology and Director of Mount Sinai Heart, co-leads the High-Risk Plaque initiative. Dr. Fuster works with many of the world's most prominent scientists in the field of cardiovascular disease, radiology, and other medical disciplines. Under Dr. Fuster's leadership, for the first time ever, mobile multi-purpose imaging units are being used to screen 7,300 men and women in three U.S. cities: Chicago, Louisville, and Miami. All patients enrolled in the study have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
Some of these patients will be screened in the mobile units with only ultrasound and standard computed tomography (CT) scans. Others will undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), while still others will receive positron emission technology (PET)/CT scans. The remaining patients will serve as the control group and will not undergo imaging. "Mount Sinai is leveraging its vast imaging and diagnostic expertise across a very large at-risk population," Dr. Fayad says. "The data on prevention and screening have been lacking, but we're going to change that."