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Cardiovascular Imaging

Cardiovascular imaging

The imaging center is located on the ground floor of the Gill Heart & Vascular Institute. There, you will get a scan, sometimes called a study, which will help your doctor to better diagnose your problem. With cardiovascular imaging, doctors can see your heart working inside your body. These images can show the structure, size and shape of your heart in great detail.

Patient appointments

Request an appointment online or call one of the locations listed below.


Health care providers, please visit our referral page to refer your patient to this service.

  • About the service

    Cardiovascular imaging procedures sometimes use X-rays, gamma rays, powerful magnets and advanced computer software to create detailed pictures and videos of the internal structures of your body including your heart.

    Some of these scanning techniques may also use a contrast solution, a dye which makes your heart and vessels more clearly visible to the doctor on a computer screen. The contrast “lights up” the blood stream like food coloring would change the color of clear water. Other tests, such as echocardiography (echo, or cardiac ultrasound), use high-frequency sound waves to visualize the heart muscle, heart valves (doorways between heart’s chambers) and blood flow.

    These procedures are non-invasive and essentially painless, requiring only an IV insertion in some instances. All of these can be performed in a comfortable outpatient setting. In addition to a full range of traditional imaging procedures, the Gill Heart & Vascular Institute has advanced imaging technologies offered only by a few imaging centers in the country, including 3D echocardiography, tissue Doppler and speckle tracking imaging. Gill also offers newer technologies and methods for looking at how your heart functions.

    • Types of cardiac imaging

      Our advanced cardiac imaging includes Cardiac CT and Cardiac MRI.

      Cardiac CT is like a non-invasive heart catheterization. It is typically used for:

      • Visualization of “hardening” of the arteries (calcium score)
      • Visualization of coronary arteries
      • Visualization of bypass grafts
      • Evaluation of causes for a weakened heart muscle 
      • Evaluation of causes of chest pain or other chest discomforts
      • Evaluation of congenital heart disease
      • Evaluation of the pericardium (balloon-like coating of the heart muscle)
      • Evaluation of pulmonary vein anatomy prior to  an EP procedure
      • Evaluation of diseases of thoracic aorta
      • Non-diagnostic or indeterminate stress test, echo study or nuclear scan 

      Cardiac MRI is the only non-surgical way to see the scar in your heart after a heart attack. Cardiac MRI is typically used for:

      • Most accurate evaluation of heart muscle function
      • Visualization of heart muscle scars
      • Evaluation of causes for a weakened heart muscle
      • Risk stratification for patients with weakened heart muscles (cardiomyopathies)
      • Evaluation of the pericardium (balloon-like coating of the heart muscle)
      • Non-diagnostic or indeterminate stress test, echo study or nuclear scan
      • Evaluation of diseases of thoracic aorta 
      • Evaluation of myocardial blood flow for diagnosis of significant coronary artery disease
      • Pre-operative and post-operative evaluation of congenital heart disease
    • Adult Echo Lab

      The Gill Heart & Vascular Institute Adult Echo Lab has been accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission-Echocardiography (ICAEL) continuously since 1999 and all interpreting cardiologists are certified by the National Board of Echocardiography. Our team has 130 combined years of cardiac sonographer experience in Adult Echocardiography. 

      The Adult Echo Lab provides quality diagnostic testing in a private and quiet environment. And has more than 25 years of experience in performing and interpreting stress echoes and transesophageal echoes. Our faculty has played a major role in the research and development, of Doppler, color flow imaging and 3D echo. In fact, the Adult Echo Lab faculty and cardiac sonographers have been leaders in the state for ultrasound imaging- teaching national and regional courses, and providing hands on training to physicians and sonographers in the area. We are committed to providing excellent care and education to the people of Kentucky, now and in the future.

    • Gill Imaging Center

      The Gill Imaging Center is a nearly $10 million venture that brings some of the most technologically-advanced imaging equipment available to UK. This outpatient center provides advanced diagnostic imaging of a wide variety of clinical conditions. Housed within the center is the UK Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Program.

      The Gill Imaging Center has two state-of-the-art 64-slice computed tomography (CT) scanners. A first for Kentucky, one of these units represents the next generation of CT technology, the dual-source CT scanner. This innovative technology is about twice as fast as other CT machines, capturing precise images of a beating heart in seconds, reducing the need for heart-slowing medication while providing exceptional images to aid in diagnosis and treatment decisions.

      With these CT scanners, the Gill Imaging Center is advancing the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) with FFR-CT Analysis. This non-invasive heart test provides patients with a personalized 3D model of their coronary arteries that shows how each blockage impacts blood flow to the heart. Gill was the first site in Kentucky to offer FFR-CT Analysis, which is providing more detailed information to physicians while reducing the rate of unnecessary invasive procedures. 

      Also within the Gill Imaging Center, two new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) units expand UK HealthCare's already impressive imaging capabilities. The 1.5T MRI unit is the clinical standard for breast, chest, heart, abdomen, bones and joints including the spine. The 3.0 Tesla (3T) MRI unit benefits from an even higher magnetic field and is perfect for advanced studies of the brain and the entire vascular system.