The division of Cardiothoracic Imaging at Penn Radiology is made up of two sections:
Penn Radiology Cardiovascular Imaging Section
The Cardiovascular Imaging Section utilizes the latest CT, MR and image processing technology to provide non-invasive imaging of the cardiovascular system. The section was the first dedicated CVI section and the first to perform coronary CT in the Philadelphia area.
The section continues to practice at the cutting edge by using the latest technology, such as the first dual x-ray source CT scanner, the latest generation of 1.5 and 3TMR systems, and advanced image processing systems including a virtual reality system for medical image evaluation.
The section’s educational program includes a medical student elective, a mentoring program for biomedical engineering undergraduate and graduate student research, radiology resident and cardiovascular medicine fellow training, and a dedicated one year CVI fellowship, currently with two fellows per year.
Many Penn Radiology residents have chosen to work on research projects in the CVI section, leading to numerous presentations and awards at national and international meetings, grants, and publications.
The Cardiac MR and CT Training program includes semi-annual week-long didactic courses and an ongoing three-month , designed to allow those already in practice to obtain the qualifications necessary to perform and interpret cardiovascular CT and MR.
The section has an active research program, ranging from basic MR pulse sequence development and mathematical modeling of cardiac function, to animal models of atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction, phase I/II trials of novel therapeutics for heart failure and myocardial infarction, novel image reconstruction and post-processing techniques, and clinical studies of the efficacy of new CV imaging techniques.
Penn Radiology Thoracic Imaging Section
The Thoracic Imaging Section participates in a very active, high-volume and growing clinical service. Approximately 100,000 digital chest images and over 25,000 chest CT scans are performed annually, the latter increasing exponentially each year. The section is also responsible for a rapidly growing number of transthoracic needle biopsy procedures, of which approximately 200 are now performed yearly.
The division is actively involved in broad, diverse, comprehensive programs including lung cancer, lung nodule evaluation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease, and pulmonary vascular disease.
The section has an outstanding record and reputation for excellence in teaching. Thoracic section faculty members work side-by-side with residents and fellows and provide a very active ongoing clinical consultation service. In addition, faculty and fellows in the section conduct daily radiology rounds in the surgical and medical intensive care units and also provide radiology services for the neonatal unit.
The faculty participates in an extensive conference schedule, including a weekly interdisciplinary thoracic radiology-pulmonary medicine-thoracic surgery-pathology conference, a weekly interdisciplinary lung cancer conference (thoracic surgery oncology-radiation oncology-pathology), and a monthly interstitial lung disease conference.
The section’s cardiothoracic fellowship training program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania provides an organized, comprehensive and highly supervised one-year training program in cardiothoracic imaging and chest biopsy procedures to prepare fellows to become future leaders and skilled practitioners in the field. As such, the section coordinates rotations in cardiovascular imaging to provide basic training in cardiac CT and MR imaging.
The section provides rich opportunities to participate in research at either the basic, translational, or clinical levels. It has the distinction of being one of the leading sites for research in pulmonary functional imaging and there is close collaboration with Rahim Rizi, PhD, and his group in the Functional and Metabolic Imaging Group (FMIG), resulting in one of the most active research programs in hyperpolarized gas imaging of the lungs. This research encompasses both animal and human studies of regional pulmonary physiology, including measurements of local ventilation/perfusion ratio, alveolar PO2, and lung mechanics.
Novel imaging techniques have been applied to studies of a variety of lung disorders, including emphysema, asthma, pulmonary embolism, sickle cell disease, and so on. For over a decade the section has hosted successful international workshops in pulmonary functional imaging.