Cardiodiagnosis: diagnostic excellence through advanced cardiac imaging techniques

The diagnosis of the disease is a determining element in the medical act. The experience and skill of the clinician are essential for an adequate orientation of each case, but complementary tests are often required to confirm or rule out a diagnostic suspicion and, if necessary, to specify the characteristics of the process and its prognosis.

Cardiology is a specialty that has traditionally been well equipped with diagnostic tests. Over the last decade, however, it has been enriched by the incorporation of new techniques that are more accurate than conventional methods for the study of cardiac diseases. We are talking about Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT).

Indeed, Cardio-MRI and Cardio-CT have demonstrated their advantages in a short period of time. Although these examinations require a high-tech environment, so that the number of centers able to perform them is still limited, the fact is that they are currently recommended in all the clinical practice guidelines of scientific societies, each with its own indications. Their contribution to the study of ischemic heart disease, the main concern of modern cardiology, is noteworthy, and in which both are complementary, as they provide information on the existence of coronary artery lesions on the one hand (Cardio-CT), and on their impact on the structure or function of the heart (Cardio-MRI).

The experience accumulated with these techniques shows that they allow going beyond the simple diagnosis of a process, adding prognostic information and, consequently, guiding towards the establishment of the most effective treatment. Obviously, and however developed the diagnostic methods may be, the medical process must remain centered on the specialist physician, who will indicate each test according to the clinical orientation and evaluate its results.

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Our Cardiodiagnosis group, formed in 2005 on the basis of extensive clinical experience and imaging techniques, is led by cardiologists, but incorporates specialists from various fields, such as Radiology, and offers assistance in the diagnostic process of cardiovascular diseases based on the appropriate use of advanced diagnostic imaging techniques in Cardiology. Cardiodiagnosis has as its reference center the Creu Blanca Clinic in Barcelona, a state-of-the-art center for diagnostic imaging, where it has the latest generation multi-detector CT equipment, as well as MRI of various field strengths (1.5 and 3 Tesla). The double condition of specialists in Cardiology and experts in Cardiac Imaging of the members of the group allows a personalized diagnostic approach with the guarantee of accurate information provided by imaging techniques. The activity of the Cardiodiagnosis group is not limited to assistance, as it is committed to the training of new specialists in advanced Cardiac Imaging techniques, for which it has been organizing for 3 years a Master’s degree from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, which is taught jointly at the Clínica Creu Blanca and the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, where the core management of the group is also in charge of the Cardiac Imaging Unit.