Diagnostic Radiology

Center for cardiac imaging

Together with the Clinic for Cardiology and Pneumology and the Pediatric Cardiology Clinic, the Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology make up the Heart Imaging Section. Specialists from all three clinics work closely to provide state-of-the-art methods of heart imaging. These methods include computer tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computer tomography (PET-CT).

Latest Diagnostic Methods

The Heart Imaging Section carries out diagnostic examinations on both inpatients and outpatients. It is home to the newest developments in the field of computer tomography, which provide the depiction of the coronary arteries without resorting to catheterization and with as little exposure of the patient to radiation as possible. At the same time the extent of vascular calcification can accurately be determined in order to estimate a patient´s risk of heart failure. CT scans of the heart chambers in turn are necessary to enable precise electrophysiological procedures and heart operations. MRI, which uses no radiation, helps us to analyze the blood flow to the heart and heart functions. MRIs also provide information on any inflammatory processes and other pathological changes occurring in the heart muscle as well how the heart valves are working. An MRI allows any damage that has occurred to the heart through a heart attack to be discovered and localized as well as showing exactly how much of the heart muscle is still intact. PET, together with CT, puts doctors in the position to assess the metabolism of the heart. In such cases this section works closely with the Department of Nuclear Medicine of the University Medical Center Göttingen.

Research in the Heart Imaging Section

The specialists working in the Heart Imaging Section are always keen on developing new means of depicting the heart and its vessels. They work with state-of-the-art methods to discover new ways to reveal inflammation of the heart muscle as well as the tissues that surround it, especially protein deposits. Further, they strive to quantitatively describe any changes that might be contributing to the development of heart disease. In 2014 a 3-Tesla research MRI cosponsored by the German Research Society (DFG) and the University Medical Center Göttingen was installed, and in 2015 a new chair for real-time MRI is being established in cooperation with the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK). This is being done in close cooperation also with the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and the firm of Biomedizinische NMR Forschung GmbH of Prof. Dr. Jens Frahm. This work will set new standards in the development of methods of measuring, diagnosing and treating heart disease without the risk of radiation. For example, it will allow us to measure functional parameters directly while under physical stress. Furthermore, under the aegis of the Theodor Förster Institute of the University Medical Center Göttingen and in cooperation with the German Primate Center (DPZ) we will soon have at our disposal means of depicting the molecular structure of the metabolic processes that take place in the heart by means of PET-CT and MRI as well as optical apparatus.  

Prof. Dr. Joachim Lotz
Prof. Dr. med. Joachim Lotz
Head, Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
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