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Women’s College Hospital celebrates opening of new Cardiac CT Program

February 10, 2014

On Jan. 30, 2014, staff and physicians from Women’s College Hospital (WCH), and the Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI) – which includes WCH, UHN and Mount Sinai Hospital – gathered to celebrate the opening of the new Cardiac CT program at WCH. A collaborative initiative with the JDMI, this unique, multidisciplinary program is the first imaging program in Canada to focus particularly on women’s cardiovascular health.

“We are truly excited about the impact this unique program may have for women at risk of cardiovascular disease, and the future implications for diagnosis, management and treatment of the disease,” said Marilyn Emery, president and CEO, WCH. 

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death among Canadians, with an estimated 16,000 deaths due to heart attacks each year. In women, symptoms of heart disease can be very different than in men, with women more likely to experience atypical chest pain.

In an effort to keep women out of hospital, the program offers several non-invasive procedures including coronary CT angiography, which has the ability to rule out significant coronary artery disease as a cause of atypical chest pain. Using a 320 multidetector CT scanner pioneered by Toshiba, technologists can take multi-dimensional images of the heart, blood vessels and soft tissue, using the same contrast agent that is used for regular CT scans. The CT provides highly detailed images of the coronary arteries that can be quickly analyzed to determine if a patient needs to be referred to a cardiologist or not. This is a powerful imaging tool that can help in triaging patients to appropriate care and could result in reduction of wait times.

“By using existing technology such as a CT scanner for cardiac purposes, we can shorten the diagnosis process and, in the long run, allow more women to be treated. None of this would be possible without the help of our CT technologists and Witold Reiss, X-ray and CT supervisor at WCH,” said Dr. Larry White, radiologist-in-chief, JDMI.

WCH’s Cardiac CT program will offer a multidisciplinary approach to care, using a combination of family physicians, cardiologists and radiologists to ensure that patients receive the treatment they need, while keeping them out of hospital.

Cardiac CT program
From left: Women’s College Hospital President and CEO, Marilyn Emery, poses with Dr. Narinder Paul, Dr. Elise Nguyen (front) and Dr. Paula Harvey at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Cardiac CT program.

 

Cardiac CT program
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