At UCLA, the Pediatric Noninvasive Cardiology Laboratory maintains a close collaboration with the Department of Radiology and the Section of Diagnostic Cardiovascular Imaging (DCVI), together providing cutting-edge cardiac MRI and MR angiography, cardiac CT and PET/nuclear imaging for patients with congenital cardiac abnormalities. DCVI is a multidisciplinary program including attending radiologists, MR and CT physicists/engineers, bioengineering, basic-science researchers, and clinical and research fellows. In addition, there are expert MR and CT technologists who have specialized training in cardiovascular imaging. The pediatric cardiac MR program is directed by Dr J Paul Finn.
Approximately 120 pediatric congenital cardiac MRI/CT studies/year are performed, and over 300 adult congenital heart studies are performed annually. With state of the art 1.5 Tesla and 3.0 Tesla MRI machines located in the main hospital facility, children usually undergo imaging while under general anesthesia, which is provided by pediatric anesthesiologists with expertise in cardiovascular disease. Highly detailed images of the heart and blood vessels are acquired and processed into three dimensional renderings using advanced post processing workstations and software, providing surgeons and cardiologists with unique insights into complex anatomy and physiology. Adolescents and young adults with congenital heart disease are also imaged at our outpatient facilities where additional 1.5T and 3.0T state of the art MR scanners are located. DCVI faculty promptly issue comprehensive reports accompanied by illustrative 3D images and video sequences.
In addition to clinical care and teaching, DCVI conducts world-class research and contributes to technologic advancements in the field. A strong link exists with multiple collaborating research groups both within the US, and internationally.