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First Stress Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Performed in Latvia at East Hospital

Stress Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Myocardial Perfusion Imaging is an imaging technique used in high-level tertiary medical centres all over the world. This examination was previously unavailable to patients in Latvia, but due to technological advancements, exchange of medical experience and multidisciplinary cooperation, the first Stress Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Myocardial Perfusion imaging was successfully conducted last week at the Radiology Centre of Riga East University Hospital (Riga East Hospital) in order to assess and specify the patient’s diagnosis.

Stress Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Myocardial Perfusion Imaging is performed to provide a detailed assessment of the blood supply to the heart muscles, both at rest and during physical stress, simulated by the administration of drugs during the scan, i. e., the heart is stimulated contract at a rate and intensity similar to that of a person running, meanwhile the patient remains comfortably lying on the MRI table.

Particular magnetic resonance imaging technology enables radiologist to identify potential blood supply issues and various heart conditions that may be difficult to detect using traditional diagnostic methods. Additionally, this type of examination is non-invasive and offers a high resolution of cardiac anatomical structures.

The main advantages of Stress Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Myocardial Perfusion Imaging are:

  • high precision: provides detailed and clear images of the heart muscle, enabling radiologist to make accurate diagnosis;
  • non-invasive technique: the test is performed without the need for invasive procedures, reducing the risk of complications;
  • safety: MRI technology does not use ionising radiation, making it a safer alternative to traditional diagnostic methods;
  • comprehensive approach: cardiac function and structure can be assessed in a single examination at rest and under stress;

” Stress Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Myocardial Perfusion Imaging will enable more accurate diagnosis of heart diseases that are often missed when patients are being scanned at rest. The introduction of this new advanced diagnostic method also improves patient outcomes,” explains Ginta Kudlāne, Cardiothoracic Radiologist at the Radiology Centre of the Riga East Hospital.

“This is an important step in the development of radiological diagnostic methods in Latvia. It will not only facilitate early diagnosis of masked cardiac pathologies, but also encourage interdisciplinary cooperation between cardiology and radiology experts. This approach, which is widespread practice at the Riga East Hospital, enhances care for patients with severe and complex health problems,” said Aina Kratovska, Head of the Radiology Centre, and Artis Kalniņš, Head of the Cardiovascular Disease Clinic of the East Hospital.

A cardiologist is a medical specialist that can refer a patient for Stress Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Myocardial Perfusion Imaging at the Riga East Hospital. Initially, this examination is expected to be conducted on patients at the East Hospital when further diagnosis clarification is needed after a medical check-up. Based on experience so far, at least two patients a month may require such an examination.

About the East Hospital

Riga East University Hospital is the largest and most strategically important multi-profile hospital in the country. The hospital consists of five clinical centres: Clinical Centre of Emergency Medicine Gailezers, Oncology Centre of Latvia, Clinical Centre Biķernieki, Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases and Latvian Centre of Infectious Diseases with centres and clinics of different profiles. The hospital provides highly specialised inpatient and secondary outpatient healthcare, providing multidisciplinary tertiary-level treatment and care in line with modern technologies and medical knowledge. The hospital provides treatment for about 80% of all cancer patients in Latvia. The hospital provides a practical training base for both Latvian and foreign students and provides continued professional development and knowledge transfer for health professionals in our country and abroad. The hospital conducts scientific research and develops innovative methods for treating patients. The hospital is the third largest employer in the country, with around 5,000 employees.