Johns Hopkins All Children's Heart Institute

Cardiac Imaging Services

We offer a complete array of imaging options, including advanced forms of echocardiography (including 3D and advanced function imaging), fetal echocardiograms, cardiac MRI and cardiac CT, to meet each child's unique needs.

The cardiac imaging team provides expertise in performing and interpreting tests for patients of all ages, to diagnose and treat heart disease.

Why Choose Johns Hopkins All Children’s

We provide a range of cardiac imaging services, including advanced imaging methods, to diagnose your child’s heart condition or aid in surgical or treatment planning.

Our board-certified pediatric cardiologists work closely with our team of sonographers. The sonographers are highly skilled at performing echocardiograms (special ultrasounds used to take pictures of the heart). Our sonographers are specially trained in pediatric congenital heart defects.

We also provide cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) imaging, working closely with the hospital’s radiology team. For certain imaging methods that may require sedation, our pediatric cardiac anesthesia team is specially trained in providing safe sedation for children with heart conditions to keep them comfortable during their tests.

We use a number of different imaging methods. The type of imaging your child will have depends on his or her condition. Our experienced team works to select the right method for your child that will best meet his or her individual needs.

Advanced Surgical Planning

Our heart surgery and interventional cardiology teams combine their expertise with state-of-the-art technology to aid in planning for heart surgery, cardiac catherization, and other procedures. For example, we are able to combine data from a 3D echocardiogram, cardiac MRI and cardiac CT to view a three-dimensional model of a patient’s heart, evaluate their unique heart anatomy and function and plan for heart surgery or other procedures. This platform allows us to use virtual reality to “fly through” the heart but we can also create a 3D print of the heart that you can hold in your hand.

Types of Cardiac Imaging

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound that takes moving images of your child’s heart. It allows doctors to examine the structure of the heart and how it is functioning, to determine if your child has a birth defect of the heart or other type of heart disease.

Echocardiograms use high-frequency sound waves to create the pictures and do not involve any radiation. An echocardiogram is non-invasive and does not hurt, though your child may feel some mild discomfort from the wand (called a transducer) used on the chest area to take pictures of the heart.

One of our specially trained pediatric sonographers will place electrodes on your child’s chest area using stick-on patches to monitor their heart rhythm, and then use the transducer with a warm gel to perform the test. Children will need to stay still during the exam.

Echocardiography may also be used during certain procedures to guide the heart surgeon or interventional cardiologist.

We also provide other advanced types of echocardiogram imaging, including:

Stress echocardiogram

This is an echocardiogram that is done as part of an exercise stress test, before the stress test and after it. Exercise stress tests measure how the heart responds to exercise and increased activity. Learn more about our exercise stress test services.

3D echocardiogram

This advanced form of echocardiogram allows doctors to get a more detailed three-dimensional view of the heart. This can be used by the heart surgery or interventional cardiology team to better visualize a patient’s anatomy in planning heart surgery or cardiac catheterization procedures.

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)

Transesophageal echocardiography, or TEE, is used to evaluate the internal structures of the heart and the path of blood flow in patients with congenital heart defects. With TEE, the child is sedated, and the provider guides a small probe through the throat into the esophagus.

Similar to a standard echocardiogram, soundwaves are used to obtain a picture of the heart. TEE allows for a clearer image because the soundwaves can reach the heart more directly without passing through skin, muscle or bone. TEE may be the most appropriate type of echocardiogram for your child depending on other factors that can interfere with obtaining a clear picture of the heart from a standard echocardiogram.

TEE is also used during heart surgery or during cardiac catheterization procedures to guide a procedure or evaluate the surgical repair to a congenital heart defect during the operation.

Myocardial strain imaging

This is a very sensitive type of ultrasound that can be used to assess function of the heart’s ventricles. This may be an appropriate imaging method for patients with certain conditions that may include an increased risk of abnormal heart function, such as children undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Fetal echocardiogram

A fetal echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound used to take pictures of a baby’s heart before the baby is born, and examine the heart’s structure, function and rhythm. A fetal echocardiogram helps doctors to diagnose a baby’s heart condition and develop a treatment plan before the baby is born.

Fetal echocardiogram is one of the services provided by our Fetal Heart Program, which includes fetal diagnostic testing and clinical management before, during and after delivery. Learn more about our Fetal Heart Program

Cardiac MRI

Cardiac MRI, also called magnetic resonance imaging, uses a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to take images of your child’s heart. It is used to evaluate the structure and function of your child’s heart and blood vessels.

We also provide Cardiac MRA, or magnetic resonance angiography, which is a type of magnetic resonance testing that allows your child’s doctor to create a map of your child’s blood vessels to more closely examine them. This is done using a special dye that makes the blood vessels easier to see and is given to your child intravenously (through an IV).

The MRI machine is large and tube-shaped. It provides a strong magnetic field around your child and does not use radiation. For the test, your child will lie still inside the tube while the machine takes pictures of your child’s heart, and sometimes we ask to hold your breath so that the pictures will be more clear. The test does not hurt, but the machine does make loud sounds during the test. The test can take up to an hour so for most children under 8 years old or who will otherwise have difficulty staying still during the test and holding their breath, we provide sedation or general anesthesia managed by our expert pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists.

The cardiology team works together with our radiology team to provide cardiac MRI services. Learn more about MRI at Johns Hopkins All Children’s.

Cardiac CT

Cardiac CT, or computerized tomography, uses computers and a rotating X-ray machine to create detailed images of your child’s heart and blood vessels. Cardiac CT may be used for children who can’t have an MRI because they have a pacemaker or defibrillator which is incompatible with MRI, or it may be a preferred option due to need for coronary artery imaging or because it is a faster scan than a cardiac MRI.

During a cardiac CT scan, your child will lie on a table inside a large, doughnut-shaped machine. As the table slowly moves through the scanner, the X-rays rotate around the patient. Any movement will blur the pictures, so your child will be asked to stay very still. The test typically takes 5-15 minutes. Your child will be given a special dye that makes the blood vessels easier to see and is given to your child intravenously (through an IV).

Our cardiology team works together with our radiology team to provide cardiac CT services. We work to ensure that your child is exposed to the lowest possible dose of radiation necessary to complete the imaging. Learn more about CT services at Johns Hopkins All Children’s.

Contact Us

We serve families in the greater Tampa Bay area and beyond. For more information or to make an appointment, please give us a call:

Call 727-767-3333

 

Locations

Our services are available at several of our locations including:

Johns Hopkins All Children's Outpatient Care Center
601 5th St. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(On the hospital's main campus in St. Petersburg)

Services available:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac CT
  • Cardiac MRI

Johns Hopkins All Children's Fetal Heart Office
625 6th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, Suite 340
(Located in the Bayboro building, to the west of Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital)

Services available:

  • Fetal echocardiogram

Johns Hopkins All Children's Outpatient Care, Brandon
885 South Parsons Ave., Brandon, FL 33511

Services available:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Fetal echocardiogram

Johns Hopkins All Children's Outpatient Care, East Lake
3850 Tampa Road, Palm Harbor, FL 34684 

Services available:

  • Echocardiogram

Johns Hopkins All Children's Outpatient Care, North Port
2345 Bobcat Village Center Road, North Port, FL 34288

Services available:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Fetal echocardiogram

Johns Hopkins All Children's Outpatient Care, Pasco
4443 Rowan Rd., New Port Richey, FL 34653

Services available:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Fetal echocardiogram

Johns Hopkins All Children's Outpatient Care, Sarasota
5881 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238

Services available:

  • Echocardiogram 
  • Fetal echocardiogram

Johns Hopkins All Children's Outpatient Care, Tampa
12220 Bruce B Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612

Services available:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Fetal echocardiogram
  • Cardiac CT
  • Cardiac MRI