Better Imaging Technology, Expertise and Outcomes for Patients

Physicians at Penn Medicine rely on high resolution imaging technology and techniques to diagnose problems and provide the best medical care. High-quality images help physicians:

  • Diagnose problems by viewing heart and blood vessel structure, capacity and function noninvasively, at rest and, when necessary, during stress testing
  • Determine the severity of damaged heart muscle to identify which patients can benefit from surgery, revascularization, or other interventions
  • Provide guidance during catheter-based procedures
  • Provide pre-operative and intra-operative images to plan and guide minimally invasive surgical procedures
  • Evaluate a patient’s progress following treatment

"Firsts" that open new options for patients

Penn's excellence in imaging began when the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania opened the first department of radiology in the United States.

Many imaging technologies now in use around the world were first developed or perfected at Penn, including:

  • Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)
  • Multi-Gated Acquisition scanning (MUGA)
  • Spatial Modulation of Magnetization MRI Myocardial tagging technique (SPAMM)
  • Echocardiogram (Echo)

Penn was also the first in the region to:

  • Perform coronary computed tomography (CT)
  • Install a dual x-ray source computed tomography (CT) scanner
  • Establish a positron emission tomography (PET) center
  • Develop and implement myocardial tagging to assess regional heart function

Unique capabilities and expertise

The advanced imaging laboratories at Penn rank among the most technically sophisticated facilities in the world. This technology, coupled with Penn physicians, provides patients with world-class care. 

  • Penn imaging specialists are board certified and many are fellowship trained in echocardiography.
  • They provide consultation and training in leading edge techniques to other imaging specialists around the world.
  • They are regularly acknowledged for their talent by both peers and consumers and have been recognized by Best Doctors in America, Philadelphia Magazine's Top Docs™ and America’s Top Doctors.

Newer Technology Enables More Accurate Diagnoses, Earlier Detection, A Better Patient Experience

The evolution of imaging technology has changed the way medical professionals understand and evaluate heart disease. Newer technologies allow specialists at Penn to:

  • Improve patient comfort and safety with scans that take less time.
  • Achieve dramatically improved image quality for greater detail, clarity and accuracy.
  • Use noninvasive testing to get information that, in the past, could only be obtained using invasive procedures.

Medical professionals at Penn are specially trained to use next generation devices to their best advantage, as well as the sophisticated computational tools for interpretation that go with them, including:

  • A virtual-reality system that allows staff to transform data into interactive models for more precise diagnosis and measurement of disease processes.
  • Digital picture archiving, communications and information management systems that speed the entire process so most patients can expect same-day results for a wide range of tests.

In This Section

Tests and Procedures

See what cardiovascular imaging services are available at Penn Medicine. Our facilities are home to some of the most sophisticated medical imaging technology available.

Treatment Team

Our advanced cardiovascular imaging experts can provide a complete picture of your heart. 

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