Heart imaging in Richmond
The heart center at Chippenham Hospital offers a variety of heart screening and imaging services to the Richmond, Virginia community. Our experienced technologists and cardiologists use advanced imaging technology to accurately diagnose any problems, so your doctor can decide the best treatment plan for your individual condition.
To learn more about our heart screening and imaging services, contact our Consult-A-Nurse® line at (804) 320-3627.
Our heart imaging services
Some of our heart screening and imaging services include:
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Coronary calcium scans
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)
- Echocardiogram (echo)
- Stress test
An angiogram is a common type of cardiac catheterization procedure used to identify blockages or areas of narrowing in your heart's blood vessels. During an angiogram procedure, a catheter (small tube) is injected into the blood vessels and releases a type of dye visible by the X-ray machine. By observing the flow of dye, our cardiologists can detect any areas of restriction in the blood flow to the heart. If necessary, an angioplasty can be performed during your coronary angiogram to unblock any blocked heart arteries.
A cardiac MRI is a non-invasive test that captures photos of the heart while it is beating, enabling our cardiologists to determine whether heart tissue is viable after a heart attack. Cardiac MRIs are also used to:
- Diagnose heart conditions, such as valve abnormalities and hypertrophy
- Differentiate tumors or masses in the heart from blood clots
- Discern structural abnormalities, such as congenital defects that damage the heart
Coronary calcium scans
A coronary calcium scan, also known as a heart scan, is a specialized X-ray that captures photos of your heart to detect and measure calcium-containing plaque in the arteries. Plaque found inside the arteries of your heart can gradually accumulate and block blood from reaching the muscles of the heart.
Measuring calcified plaque is crucial because it enables our cardiologists to identify potential coronary artery disease before you may experience symptoms. If a significant level of calcified plaque is discovered, then our heart team may prescribe certain medications or recommend lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of a heart attack or other serious, life-threatening cardiac problems.
Also known as an exercise stress test, a stress test shows how your heart performs during physical activity. Since your heart pumps harder and faster when you exercise, a stress test is able to detect any problems with blood flow within your heart.
Patients are usually asked to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike while our cardiologists monitor their heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing. If you already have signs of heart disease or an irregular heart rhythm (heart arrhythmia), a stress test may be recommended so our cardiac team can determine the severity of your heart condition and form the best treatment plan for you.
An echocardiogram (echo) uses electrodes and ultrasound technology to check your heart rhythm and how well your heart’s valves and chambers are pumping blood throughout your heart. An echo provides our cardiologists the data they need to diagnose heart conditions, such as heart disease or congenital heart defects before birth (fetal echocardiogram).
Depending on what information our cardiac team needs, you may have one of the many types of echocardiograms:
- Transthoracic echocardiogram
- Transesophageal echocardiogram
- Doppler echocardiogram
- Stress echocardiogram