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Clinical Updates


Speedy dual-source CT scanners improve safety, effectiveness of diagnostic cardiovascular testing


UCLA now uses the fastest computed tomography (CT) scanners available for cardiovascular imaging, significantly enhancing the safety and capabilities of this noninvasive diagnostic tool.

The dual-source computed tomography (DSCT) technology slashes the time required for data acquisition in half by using two X-ray tubes and two 64-row detector arrays — double the number found in traditional systems.

The added speed allows radiologists to image the beating heart with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution and offers a number of other advantages compared with other CT technologies:

  • Imaging of patients with high or irregular heart rates without using beta blockers to slow the heart,
  • Easier identification of plaque build-up in the coronary arteries, an early indicator of heart disease,
  • One-stop diagnosis capability, including the “triple-rule-out protocol” for pulmonary embolism, aortic aneurysm or dissection and coronary artery disease,
  • Faster diagnosis of acute care patients with high image quality, regardless of a patient’s weight and overall health,
  • Up to 50 percent reduction in radiation exposure of the patient and
  • The ability to scan using two different X-ray energies at the same time, enabling doctors to better distinguish and characterize bone, soft tissue and fluid.

UCLA Medical Center was the first hospital on the West Coast to install the DSCT scanner, and the equipment now is available at both the Westwood and Santa Monica UCLA hospitals.

Diagnostic cardiovascular imaging services

The Diagnostic Cardiovascular Imaging Section of the UCLA Department of Radiology offers noninvasive diagnostic imaging procedures using state-of-the-art CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology. Due to the unique patient mix at both the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA and the Ahmanson UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center, UCLA physicians image a wide range of highly complex congenital cardiovascular disorders in both children and adults.Services include full cardiac functional studies and vascular studies of all areas, including the pelvis, extremities and coronary, carotid, thoracic and abdominal regions.

In addition to the DSCT scanner, the equipment base includes the flagship 32-channel MRI equipment at both the Westwood and Santa Monica campuses. In addition, remote MRI scanning capabilities increase scheduling flexibility and access to specialized expertise.


Stefan Ruehm, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Radiology
Director, Diagnostic Cardiovascular Imaging, CT Radiology

J. Paul Finn, M.D.
Professor of Radiology
Chief, Diagnostic Cardiovascular Imaging
Director, Magnetic Resonance Research

Margaret Lee, M.D.
Associate Professor, Radiology

Mayil Krishnam, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Radiology

Patient referral Physicians may refer patients to UCLA Diagnostic Cardiovascular Imaging by phone at (310) 301-6800 or by fax at (310) 794-9035. For more information, please visit UCLA Diagnostic Cardiovascular Imaging.

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