Advanced Cardiac Imaging

At Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Heart Center our cardiologists can determine the health of your child’s heart using advanced cardiac imaging. 

Advanced cardiac imaging uses non-invasive techniques to image your child’s heart and blood vessel structure and function. We use three special types of machines to obtain these images:  (1) cardiac computed tomography (CT), (2) cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and (3) echocardiography. We can take three dimensional (3D) pictures and video to assess the heart and blood flow patterns.

Advanced cardiac imaging helps parents and doctors better understand heart defects and then create the best treatment plan.

We know that waiting for answers about your child’s heart condition can be scary. Please call us on the phone to make an appointment so that we can test your child as soon as possible.

Imaging Techniques

Some examples of the advanced cardiac imaging we use include:

  • Cardiac CT: A noninvasive test using X-rays to image the heart. Often performed when we need to look at blood vessels. This test is quick, and usually does not require any medicine for sedation, even in the smallest children. An IV is needed to give a contrast agent, so that we can see the heart structures clearly. CTs allows us to image small structures including the coronary arteries and other blood vessels.
  • Cardiac MRI: A diagnostic exam using magnetic and radio waves to scan the body and create images of the heart. Sometimes, an IV is placed to give a contrast agent into the veins so we can see certain structures more clearly. With cardiac MRI we can obtain accurate measurements of heart size and function. We can also assess the health of the  heart muscle itself. Parents can be in the room with their child during the examination.
  • Echocardiography: A safe, non-invasive test that uses high frequency ultrasound waves to image heart structure, function and blood flow. Our sonographers and cardiologists are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the field. With our expertise, we can figure out the most complex heart issues. We employ advanced techniques including 3D and myocardial deformation imaging. We also use echocardiography to image the unborn baby’s heart in our Fetal Heart Program, and perform transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) during heart procedures in order to help guide the repairs

Preparing Your Child for a Cardiac CT or Cardiac MRI

We encourage parents of young children to prepare their child for their imaging examination by explaining in advance what to expect at an age appropriate level. Find additional resources, including specific information on preparing children for MRIs and CTs.

The imaging procedures are non-invasive and not painful, though anxiety related to the procedure is not uncommon.  For MRI, the machine makes loud noises, but your child will receive headphones or earplugs so that their ears are protected. They will be able to communicate with the technologist performing the scan throughout the study. A parent is often allowed to stay in the room with the child during the examination. An IV for contrast is sometimes necessary for MRI. You can ask your doctor if this will be needed so that you can prepare your child appropriately.  For CT, the examination is much shorter than MRI and the noises the machine makes are not very loud. An IV is needed for CTs so that a contrast solution can be given.

Conditions We Treat

At Children’s Heart Center, we use advanced cardiac imaging to diagnoses and evaluate a variety of conditions. Our patients have conditions that are either either acquired (a condition that develops after birth) or congenital (a condition that develops before birth).

Why Choose Children’s Heart Center?

Children Heart’s Center is dedicated to pioneering new forms of advanced cardiac imaging. For example, the 3D Model Prototype Program creates a 3D model of the heart to assist in surgical decision making. 

Children’s Heart Center is proud to train and educate advanced cardiac imaging specialists. We provide continuing medical education (CME) courses throughout NYC and developing training guidelines in imaging. Our echocardiography laboratory is certified by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).

When you are looking for an answer about the health of your child’s heart, Children’s Heart Center is here to answer your questions. Our aim is to provide world-class advanced cardiac imaging services that are accurate and personalized.