Medical Moment: The benefits of cardiac imaging

Dr. Pimprapa Vejpongsa

Despite advances in medicine, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of almost 700,000 people each year. About 80 million people have some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which affect their heart and blood vessels.

That’s why doctors like Dr. Pimprapa Vejpongsa, a cardiologist with Houston Methodist DeBakey Cardiology Associates at Baytown, do everything they can to spot CVD early using a growing number of tools that can identify and treat heart disease before it becomes a life-threatening issue.

“The past 20 years have brought big gains in cardiac imaging,” Vejpongsa explained. These precise techniques can help your doctor confirm a diagnosis. Common CVD diagnoses include angina, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease and more.

The main benefits of the new techniques used include faster diagnoses of existing cardiovascular issues, less invasive methods of monitoring, and more detailed heart, blood vessels and structures imagery. The type of cardiac imaging used will depend on your specific symptoms and history. Your doctor can better explain the reasons for each test offered.

Common cardiac imaging includes radiographic imaging techniques that are more advanced than X-rays and can show detailed information about your heart:

  • PET scans: This test measures metabolic activity in tissue and organs. A low-level injection of glucose is given to help doctors identify damaged areas.
  • CT scans: This X-ray is 100 times more sensitive than standard X-rays and creates 2D and 3D “slices” of the body from different angles. Computers assemble these slices into high-resolution images that can reveal clots, blockages or aneurysms.
  • Magnetic resonance angiography: This special MRI created highly detailed images of organs and blood vessels.
  • Heart angiogram and catheterization: These procedures find and treat blockages in the heart and coronary arteries.

Your cardiologist will discuss the right type of imaging for your situation. Some may be more effective for your case than others.

Advanced cardiac imaging makes diagnosing heart problems faster and more accurate. Confirmed diagnoses can often lead to more effective treatments. “These imaging methods yield enormous amounts of information about the heart. This information can lead to easier disease management for patients,” Vejpongsa said.

If you have a personal history of heart disease or are concerned about potential cardiovascular symptoms, call 281.837.7587 or visit heart-vascular to schedule an appointment at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital.


About Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital

Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital has provided Baytown and east Harris, Liberty and Chambers counties with excellent medical care since its opening in 1948. The hospital continues to grow to meet the health care needs of its growing community through an ongoing construction and renovation program that has seen the opening of a new five-story patient tower, emergency center, outpatient center and medical-surgical units. As a healthcare leader, the hospital is proud to have a fully integrated residency program focused on educating and inspiring future practitioners. Today, Houston Methodist Baytown provides the most advanced and innovative procedures while never wavering from its focus on compassionate care and providing a safe, patient-centered healing environment.

Previous articleMy 5 Cents: State Senate passes bill criminalizing catalytic converter theft
Next articleSteve Arie
Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.