The Cardiovascular CT Operating Unit aims to answer all needs regarding the clinical activities of the Centro Cardiologico Monzino and/or the national cardiological context, by performing CT examinations in Cardiology and in Cardiac and vascular surgery.
The Unit draw upon the professional contribution of a team of 11 doctors, 6 of which are cardiologists and 5 radiologists, 8 radiology technicians and 8 nurses.
The CT scan allows to study the circulation at the level of the coronary arteries, the implanted stents and aorto-coronary bypasses, as well as the circulation at the level of the cardiac veins, the left atrium and pulmonary veins, the aortic valve annulus, the cardiac and paracardiac masses, the thoracic and abdominal aorta, the supra-aortic trunks, the arterial system of the lower limbs and the pulmonary arterial circulation.
In 2018, over 8,000 cardiovascular exams were performed, of which 4,400 dedicated to the study of the heart and coronary circulation.
Since March 2015, a new device, the "Revolution CT", has been operational in the CT Unit, which allows the examination to be performed in all patients, regardless of their heart rhythm and their clinical situation. The new equipment allows an extraordinary spatial and temporal resolution, the acquisition of the whole heart in a single beat, the possibility to drastically reduce the exposure to ionizing radiation and the contrast medium, and guarantees better comfort for the patient.
Since September 2017, a second "Revolution CT" device, dedicated to the study of the heart, has also been installed at Monzino.
Since the installation of the first "Revolution CT" about 30,000 tests have been performed, about half of which dedicated to the study of the heart and coronary circulation. Among the latter, about 2,000 were dedicated to planning interventional procedures (interventional cardiology or electrophysiology) and another 1,000 included not only the evaluation of coronary anatomy, but also the functional study by CT-perfusion or FFR-CT (fractional flow reserve), which allows to evaluate the functional severity of a possible coronary stenosis. Monzino was the first Center in Italy and among the first in the world to introduce this technology into clinical practice.
The unit is equipped with equipment for carrying out examinations of:
- Traditional radiology
- Ultrasound with echocolordoppler
The clinical activity of the Radiology Unit is particularly aimed at defining operational protocols for diagnostic imaging methods, especially traditional radiology and color Doppler ultrasound, related to the specific activities in the cardiological, surgical-vascular and hemodynamic fields, both in the diagnostic and follow-up phases.
Furthermore, the ultrasound method with contrast is performed, using volatile MDC (eliminated by the respiratory tract, to preserve the renal function) and with very rare allergenic characteristics, in particular for the study of abdominal aortic pathology and for the follow-up of endoprostheses. in the same pathology.
The activity of the Unit - which is dedicated in particular to the study of various vascular districts (in particular the abdominal aorta and renal arteries) - draw upon the collaboration of Radiologists and Cardiologists also specialized in Radiology.
The research activity of the Cardiac Imaging Area is deeply integrated with the daily clinical work and includes echocardiography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance.
Regarding recent research projects, our main efforts are focused on:
- new methods in transthoracic and transesophageal 3D-echocardiography demonstrating advantages of 3D vs 2D-echocardiography in the evaluation of right ventricular function, mitral valve prolapse, intraoperative monitoring of cardiac surgery, left atrial function;
- feasibility and accuracy of non-invasive evaluation of coronary arteries, stents and bypass grafting through cardiac computed tomography;
- new technical advances in radiation dose reduction in cardiac computed tomography maintaining a high accuracy in native and stented coronary arteries evaluation;
- cardiac CT and prognosis;
- new bioengineering approaches to cardiac imaging computation, mainly in the field of 3D-echocardiography;
- collaboration with other Units within the framework of a disease-specific multidisciplinary team in the evaluation of patients undergoing electrophysiological approaches, cardiac failure therapies, PCI procedures, cardiac surgery (including percutaneous/transapical aortic valve implantation, mitral clip, left atrial appendage closure).