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What is Cardiothoracic Radiology?

Cardiothoracic radiology involves imaging services that allow doctors to diagnose disease. Cardiothoracic radiology is used on the chest wall, heart, and lungs and is crucial to the diagnosis process. This specialty can be used to diagnose issues like heart disease, cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, and pulmonary nodules. Cardiothoracic radiology is considered a specialization under radiology. 


One of the most commonly performed procedures in cardiothoracic radiology is an echocardiogram. Echocardiograms (or ECHO) are painless, making it easy to give to patients with a low pain tolerance. An echocardiogram takes about an hour or less to perform, and often involves saline or a dye injected into your veins, which allows doctors and specialists to see your heart clearly.


An EKG will be done during an echocardiogram, during which electrodes are attached to your chest. EKGs are done to record the electrical activity of the heart. After the electrodes are attached to your chest, a gel will be applied as well. This gel allows doctors and technicians to see your heart, based off the sound waves your heart emits.

CT Scan

Another commonly performed procedure in cardiothoracic radiology is the CT scan. CT scans are performed when regular x-rays don’t show doctors enough information. CT scans are more detailed, and go into further depth about what could be wrong. CT scans are often performed when diseases or injuries are suspected, but haven’t been diagnosed. 


If CT scans or Echocardiograms aren’t giving doctors enough information, you may be asked to have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the heart. An MRI of the heart gives doctors a complete picture, and allows them to diagnose conditions like cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, and heart failure. MRI’s are found to be particularly helpful when it comes to scanning things like soft tissues, or organs. 
If you’re looking for the best in cardiothoracic radiology, Columbus Radiology is the place to be. We’ll treat you with dignity and respect, and help you understand what may be going on with your body. To learn more, please schedule an appointment today!