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Cardiologist examining smiling girl with stethoscope

Non-Invasive Cardiac Imaging

ColumbiaDoctors pediatric cardiologists use echocardiography, advanced cardiac imaging, and 3-D printing to evaluate infants, children, and young adults with congenital or acquired heart disease. 

Echocardiography

Echocardiograms use sound waves to make pictures of the heart. We currently perform nearly 12,000 transthoracic echocardiograms a year and are experts in this procedure—as well as in trans-esophageal echocardiograms used to assist in interventional cardiac catheterization procedures and cardiac surgeries  Our echocardiography team of physicians are experts in diagnosis and assessment of all types of structural (congenital) and functional heart disease in fetuses, infants and children with congenital or acquired heart disease and in adults living with congenital heart disease.

Advanced cardiac imaging

We use state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to produce exceptional, high-resolution beating heart images in complex anatomic detail.  The scanners use no radiation and are suitable even for the smallest infants. We also use MRIs to quantitatively assess cardiac function and physiology.

In addition, our cardiac computed tomography (CT) program, as part of our ongoing commitment to child safety, employs ultra low radiation doses to rapidly obtain detailed 3-dimensional heart and vessel images in seconds/

 3-D heart printing

Using digital data from MRI and CT scans, our doctors can now create a 3-D life-sized model of the heart. We can now literally “hold your child’s heart in our hands,” directly visualizing its anatomy before we enter the operating room or catheterization lab to perform surgery or interventional procedures on the heart. This is a major advance in the evaluation of complex congenital heart defects.