Non Invasive Cardiology

Sentara Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging

Heart diagnosis has traditionally required catheterization, a procedure that increases both cost and patient risk. Over the last decade, pressure has mounted for faster and cheaper diagnoses, with less aggravation to patients. The healthcare community responded with dramatic improvements. Most notable is advanced coronary computed tomography (CT) scanning, an innovative tool doctors now use to noninvasively detect or rule out heart problems in patients.
The Advanced Imaging Center at Sentara Heart Hospital performs the most complex cardiac imaging within 150 miles. Our highlyskilled, subspecialized doctors are using world-class technology to usher in a new era in imaging characterized by incredibly fast and accurate diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, chest pain, stroke, and other life-threatening illnesses.

As enthusiastic supporters of a wide array of cardiac clinical research studies, our Echo Team is perennially at the technological forefront of cardiac imaging. Our accomplishments in echocardiography—together with rapidly growing areas such as percutaneous transcatheter aortic valve replacement, atrial fibrillation ablation, and cardiac assist devices—are essential to the Sentara mission of improving health every day.

Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Centers offer:

  • One of the fastest and most accurate cardiac CT scanners in the region. It takes only five seconds—or five heartbeats—for this 256-slice cardiac CT scanner to create complete images of the heart and surrounding arteries.
  • An accredited Echo Lab that performs more than 1,000 echo studies every month. Extensively trained registered sonographers perform echocardiograms, which are then read the same day by a cardiologist. The availability of 3-D echocardiography aids surgical decision making by enabling doctors to crop images and providing more detailed views of structures. The lab also performs 2-D stress echocardiography and transesophageal echocardiography.
  • A comprehensive oncology clinic with the latest technology for echocardiographic strain, a test of myocardial function in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
    This procedure, which is necessary for early detection and quantification of myocardial dysfunction, can help inform therapeutic decision making. It is also useful for follow-up evaluations of therapeutic results.
  • The only advanced art processing lab in the Hampton Roads region, for universal access to imaging and reporting.

Advanced Technologies

In 2015, more than 1,700 patients sought care for a wide range of cardiovascular problems through our programs and advanced technologies.

  • Our emergency coronary CT angiogram program allows for rapid triage of chest pain through our ER department. Coronary CT angiography is an effective, evidence-based strategy for evaluating acute chest pain in the ER for patients who have a low-to-intermediate risk of acute coronary syndrome.
  • A dual-energy source CT enterography, a low-energy image scanning technique, dramatically reduces a patient’s radiation exposure while significantly improving imaging quality, even in patients whose elevated heart rates would otherwise make them difficult to scan.
  • Telemanagement cardiology cameras installed on CT scanners at the Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital allow our doctors who specialize in reading and interpreting CT scans to observe and instruct remotely. This web-based technology extends our expertise to additional hospitals within the Sentara Heart network and reinforces our position among alternative community hospitals as a hub for advanced cardiac imaging and diagnosis.