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AUSTRALIA-FIRST CARDIAC IMAGING CENTRE PAVES WAY FOR PIONEERING TREATMENTS

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has today opened the Advanced Cardiac Imaging Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital – the first of its type in Australia.

The Centre is a joint initiative of the St Vincent’s Heart Lung Service and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. It brings two powerful and complementary cardiac imaging techniques – CT and MRI – together in a single space for the first time, operated by cardiologists and a dedicated team of radiographers.

“I am delighted that St Vincent’s clinicians and Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute researchers will now both be benefitting from powerful imaging technology. This Centre will improve their diagnostic capability to enable new cardiac procedures, and importantly, facilitate research to better understand the functioning of the heart,” Minister Hazzard said.

Coronary artery disease is still the leading cause of cardiac death in Australia. The new scanner will allow clinicans  to image the entire heart and its blood supply through the coronary arteries in a small fraction of a single heart-beat, without the use of catheters. The CT is also being used to diagnose diseases within the body’s largest artery; the aorta, and to plan a raft of therapeutic procedures on the structure of the heart, such as replacing a heart valve without surgery.

The dedicated 3 Tesla cardiac MRI produces moving images of all the heart structures without any radiation of the patient. It includes alterations in the structure and texture of the muscular walls of the heart, while also permitting the most accurate measurements of blood flow through the chambers of the heart, and also within the heart muscle.

In addition to the benefits to patients in terms of the greater speed, comfort, safety and improved diagnostic accuracy provided, this Imaging Centre also provides enormous clinical research capacity.

In light of this important new research capacity, the NSW State Government awarded the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute a $3.5 million Innovation Grant to fund the purchase and installation of the cardiac MRI component of the new Imaging Centre. St Vincent’s was able to raise an additional $4 million through the efforts of the St Vincent’s Curran Foundation, to acquire the CT and fit out a new purpose built facility within St Vincent’s.

“The St Vincent’s Advanced Cardiac Imaging Centre represents the perfect coming-together of sophisticated technology and translational research working hand-in-hand to provide cutting edge care treatments for our cardiac patients,” Minister Hazzard said.