Department of Peri-Operative Cardiology and Cardiovascular Imaging

Cardiovascular CT

Quick Facts

The Cardiovascular CT Unit drawn upon the professional contribution of a team of 6 cardiologists and 5 radiologists, 8 radiology technicians and 8 nurses.
Since March 2015, CT exams are performed with an innovative device, the "Revolution CT", which allows the acquisition of the entire heart in a single beat, with the possibility of drastically reducing exposure to ionizing radiation and the contrast medium, and which therefore guarantees better comfort for the patient. A second "Revolution CT" device has also been operational since September 2017.

Since the installation of the first "Revolution TC" about 30,000 tests have been performed, of which about half dedicated to the study of the heart and coronary circulation. Among the latter, about 2,000 were dedicated to the planning of interventional procedures and another 1,000 also included functional study using CT-perfusion or FFR-CT (fractional flow reserve). Monzino was the first Center in Italy and among the first in the world to introduce this technology into clinical practice.

The Cardiovascular CT Unit uses the professional support of a mixed team of 8 doctors including specialists in Cardiology and Radiology, 7 radiology technicians and 8 nurses.
The Unit has two latest generation 256-layers CT scanners that allow to acquire the heart volume in a single beat and to obtain images of excellent quality even at high heart rates and/ or in the course of arrhythmias with a reduced amount of contrast agent and a very low dose of ionizing radiation.

With this exam is possibile to produce high definition 3D images of the coronaries and it allows to:

- exclude coronary heart disease in patients with chest pain;

-identify coronary atherosclerosis at an early stage and identify vulnerable plaques in order to provide the most appropriate treatment and prevent myocardial infarction;

-assess the presence of coronary abnormalities including myocardial bridges (sports, youth, etc.);

-assess the narrowing of the coronary vessels, selecting patients requiring surgery to restore proper blood flow to the heart (via angioplasty, coronary stent, bypass, etc.);

-assess the patency of stents and bypasses.

Monzino, moreover, is one of the few hospitals in Italy to perform stress CT for the study of myocardial perfusion allowing the evaluation in a single examination of anatomy and inducible ischemia.
The cardiologists of this Unit are experts recognized nationally and internationally and they are involved in leading international clinical trials and guidelines, always at the forefront of the diagnosis and treatment of our patients.

Research Activities

  • The Department as a whole addresses several research topics.
    These are the main ones:

    • superiority of three-dimensional technology in the assessment of right and left atrial function, mitral prolapse and intraoperative monitoring;
    • practicability and accuracy of non-invasive assessment with coronary artery native CT, stent and aorto-coronary bypass;
    • new cardiac CT techniques with reduced radiation doses while maintaining high accuracy in the evaluation of native and stent coronaries;
    • use of cardiac MRI in the development of new methods of studying heart cavities and valve systems;
    • new biomedical engineering approaches in evaluating cardiac image with three-dimensional technology to better follow ventricular remodeling after cardiac surgery and study the dynamics of mitral and aortic valves;
    • collaboration with other Departments for a multidisciplinary approach in specific contexts in the evaluation of patients to undergo electrophysiological procedures, therapies for heart failure, coronary angioplasty procedures, cardiac surgery (in particular in the percutaneous closure of the left auricle, implantation of percutaneous or transapical aortic valves and percutaneous repair with mitral-mitral-clip valve).

Other Activities

  • Educational activities

    Most of the clinicians provide their collaboration with the University of Milan carring on teaching activities.
    The laboratory hosts every 3 months a rotation of specialists in cardiology, and provides the logistics and tutors necessary for the preparation of theses.
    The laboratory also welcomes medical visitors from other Italian and foreign Institutes, for educational purposes.

    National and international scientific activities

    The clinicians are involved in several national and international congresses and courses as speakers.