Our mission is to continuously improve the treatment of children with congenital heart disease and other heart conditions and to advance the complex science that underlies these treatments. One way we’re doing this is through better imaging.
In the past, our cardiac surgeons would open the heart up and do whatever we could in a short space of time allowed for the operation. Now, with innovative 3-dimensional imaging, we can get a much better view of what is going on—before putting the child through surgery. Three-dimensional imaging has changed our approach enormously, and it allows us to tackle the most complicated problems with the best outcomes.
Echocardiography (echo) is a procedure used to assess the heart's structures and function. Each year, specialists in our division of Non-Invasive Cardiology perform and interpret more than 20,000 echocardiograms to evaluate patients who are at risk for congenital and/or acquired heart disease.
The cardiovascular MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) program at Boston Children's Hospital is among the largest, most advanced programs in the country.
Each year, we perform and interpret more than 1,000 cardiovascular MRI examinations in patients of all ages, with a wide variety of heart disease. Over the past several years, the number of cardiac MRI examinations at Children's has greatly increased as the diagnostic capabilities of MRI have expanded.
The computer technology for speedy, high-quality, 3-dimensional clinical imaging did not exist a few years ago. Computer engineers from Harvard, Boston University and Phillips Medical Systems helped us get there. And, eventually, it was the gaming industry—particularly In Vidia—that helped us use their equipment in novel ways and come up with the clinical solution we needed.