Imaging Services

The Nebraska Heart Hospital provides patients with a convenient location for a number of non-invasive cardiac imaging procedures. The Imaging Department provides x-ray services, a state-of-the-art 64 slice CT scanner, echocardiograms, and peripheral vascular diagnostic tests. In an effort to minimize traveling about the hospital, many of our exams can be done right in your room. Imaging services are available 24 hours a day with in-house as well as on-call staff.

The Imaging Department has a sophisticated PACS system, which allows us to view your images on a computer in your room just minutes after your exam. This has allowed us to save valuable time in making a proper diagnosis and plan for your care.

Diagnostic tests available include:

Chest X-ray: This is simply an x-ray of your chest which can provide your doctor with information about your heart and your lungs.

64 Slice CT Scan: The Nebraska Heart Institute is one of the first centers in the region with this technology, enhancing patient care by offering the state-of-the-art 64-slice CT scanner. We now are able to non-invasively image the coronary arteries and other vessels. A CT can see inside the heart and other parts of the body, as well. CT scan will image areas that cannot be seen on regular x-ray examinations. CT makes it possible to diagnose certain diseases earlier and more accurately than with other imaging tools. Because most diseases are better treated when found early, CT scans can help save lives.

Echocardiogram: (Also known as an echo.) An ultrasound machine is used to send harmless sound waves into your heart. A real time picture of your heart and its valves is created and recorded for the doctor to review. Valuable information about the size of your heart, the ejection fraction, and valve problems can be learned from an echocardiogram. The Doppler portion of the test gives us accurate information about leaky or restricted heart valves.

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE): A small scope, with an ultrasound probe mounted on its tip, is passed through the mouth into the esophagus, which is just behind the heart. This allows the cardiologist to obtain very clear pictures of your heart and the aorta (the main artery in the chest). This test is often used when clear pictures of the heart cannot be obtained from the outside of the chest during an echocardiogram. You will receive a numbing medication for your throat as well as light sedation to assure that you are comfortable during the exam. The exam takes approximately 30 minutes plus additional time for the sedation medication to wear off. You should have someone with you to drive you home after this test.

Carotid Doppler study: This is a painless ultrasound exam of the arteries in the neck which supply blood to the brain. It is used to assess the plaque build up in these arteries. The test takes approximately 30 minutes.

Venous Doppler study: An ultrasound machine is used to examine the veins in your legs or arms to see if they contain blood clots, or to evaluate the veins from the leg used in heart bypass surgery.

Lower extremity arterial study: The blood pressures are measured at your ankles to see if you have evidence of clogged arteries in your legs. An ultrasound machine is used to examine these arteries to evaluate them for plaque and blockages.

Abdominal aortic ultrasound: An ultrasound picture of the aorta, which is the large artery in the abdomen. This test is most often ordered to see if someone has an enlargement (an aneurysm) of the aorta. The best pictures are obtained if you are fasting for 6 hours prior to the exam.

Renal Duplex: An ultrasound machine is used to examine the arteries that carry blood flow to the kidneys, as well as to examine the flow within the kidney itself. The best pictures are obtained if you are fasting for 6 hours prior to the exam.

It is our commitment to safely and efficiently provide the highest quality exams to our physicians for accurate diagnoses, while caring for our patients with compassion and understanding.