Cross Sectional Cardiac Imaging Program
The cardiac MRI and cardiac CT programs at Arkansas Children’s Hospital collectively perform over 300 studies annually, the vast majority for complex congenital heart disease. As the only congenital heart disease program in the state, we serve patients across the spectrum of age and disease complexity. This routinely includes adults who have had operations in childhood that are no longer commonly performed, offering fellows a rich opportunity to learn about the history of congenital heart surgery.
Rooted in a tradition of close collaboration between the pediatric cardiology and pediatric radiology sections, the cross-sectional cardiac imaging team has benefited from the complementary strengths of both specialties. Similarly, categorical cardiology fellows have the opportunity to learn from attendings with diverse backgrounds and expertise.
Beginning partway through their first year of fellowship, cardiology fellows are coached on how to review and present advanced cardiac imaging to the faculty during surgical case management conferences. Graduating cardiology fellows consistently report this as a strength of our program when they move on to the next phase of their careers.
Advanced 3D+ Cardiac Visualization Laboratory
Arkansas Children’s Hospital employs state of the art technologies for advanced visualization of complex cardiac anatomy in three or more dimensions. Thanks to generous donations from local families who support the Pediatric Heart Center, the 3D cardiac print laboratory utilizes a full color 3D resin printer to create life-size cardiac models for planning the most complex cardiac operations. After clinical use, the models are stored in a library alongside their clinical narratives, enabling trainees to learn from each case for years to come.
Cardiology fellows have the opportunity during their training to participate in the planning, image acquisition, segmentation, and production of 3D models. One recent fellow presented her work on 3D modeling at a national conference (view the presentation here).
In some instances, augmented 3D or 4D reality caries one or more advantages over 3D printing. In these cases, EchoPixel enables the advanced imaging and surgical teams to review complex anatomy for surgical planning. Cardiology fellows are always welcome to join in these high-level discussions and are free to utilize this technology at their leisure to help them understand the relationships of complex cardiovascular structures in their patients.