Advances in Imaging

For more than 100 years, Mount Sinai physicians have pioneered new technologies to diagnose and treat heart disease. Mount Sinai's rich history in cardiac testing stretches back to 1909, when Alfred E. Cohn, a Mount Sinai cardiologist, brought the first electrocardiogram machine to the United States. Since then, Mount Sinai physicians have continued to make fundamental contributions to the development of cardiac testing, including exercise stress testing, cardiac ultrasound imaging, arrhythmia detection, and high-resolution imaging.

Here are some of the ways that Mount Sinai Heart continues to push the boundaries of cardiac imaging.

  • In April 2010, Mount Sinai Heart became the first medical center in the United States to use cadmium zinc telluride, the latest generation of imaging cameras for stress testing, resulting in faster, safer, and more accurate detection of heart disease. "This technology is the first real innovation in single photon emission computed tomography in decades," says Milena Henzlova, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory. "The cadmium zinc telluride technology improves image quality and significantly reduces patient exposure to radiation. It cuts the imaging time of 15 to 20 minutes down to only two or three."

  • Mount Sinai is the first hospital in the world to pair ultra-powerful magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner in the same room. The combination of the PET's ability to detect diseased heart cells and the MRI's three-dimensional resolution will allow physicians to diagnose and pinpoint heart problems at earlier. Zahi A. Fayad, PhD, Director of the Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute and Professor of Cardiology, is directing this effort, which will offer unparalleled resolution of heart and blood vessel imaging and information about inflammation and other markers of disease.

  • Mount Sinai Heart is thoroughly expert at echocardiography, performing more than 10,000 echocardiograms every year. The newest advance in this imaging technology is three-dimensional echocardiography: a series of images that when viewed in sequence offers surgeons a view of heart valves as they would appear in the operating room.