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House Call: The Latest in Detecting Heart Problems

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Most people have heard of stress tests, which are commonly used by doctors to detect heart problems in their patients.

While these tests are still being administered today, many advancements in the field of cardiac imaging have significantly improved heart disease detection and diagnosis abilities.

Coronary CT angiograms are non-invasive imaging tests used to closely examine the arteries of individuals who are experiencing symptoms of heart disease and detect blockages that may not have been severe enough to detect using a traditional stress test.

Heart magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is another non-invasive, advanced imaging method used to detect structural abnormalities in the heart that are not seen as well on other forms of imaging.  MRIs are able to detect if tissue within the heart is still functioning or if it is scarred or dead, which puts an individual at greater risk for heart attack.

Advanced imaging is also being used to detect heart problems in individuals who are asymptomatic, yet fall into the high-risk group for heart disease.  Coronary calcium scores, another form of CT scanning, are used to detect how much calcium build-up is in the arteries of individuals who are at high risk of heart disease.

By using coronary calcium scores, cardiologists can take a preventative approach to treating high-risk patients. By utilizing the latest advancements in cardiovascular imaging, the exceptional team of cardiologists at Cone Health Heart and Vascular Center are able to accurately detect and diagnose heart problems that would have otherwise not been identified with other forms of testing.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Dalton McLean is a cardiologist and a member of the Cone Health medical staff.  Dr. McLean is a 2003 graduate of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine.  He completed his residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and completed a fellowship in cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. McLean is certified in general cardiology, advanced heart failure, echocardiography and nuclear cardiology