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The Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health has testing and imaging capabilities that enable us to make the right heart and vascular disease diagnosis quickly. With early detection, patients can make important lifestyle changes that are proven to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Our tools include:

  • Ambulatory monitors
  • Tilt-table testing
  • Coronary angiography

Diagnostic Imaging Capabilities

D-SPECT Heart Camera

The D-SPECT camera is a state-of-the-art low-dose nuclear imaging tool that creates high quality images quickly, while providing a high level of comfort for patients. Renown has the only D-SPECT cameras in the region, giving us the quickest heart attack diagnosis time in the area.

Cardiac MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe, noninvasive test that creates detailed pictures of organs.

MRI images of the heart surpass most other imaging methods, making cardiac MRI a valuable tool in early diagnosis and evaluation of heart abnormalities.

Other Heart and Vascular Imaging Capabilities

  • Calcium-score screening heart scan
  • Cardiac and peripheral computed tomography (CT)
  • Cardiac positron emission tomography (PET)

  • Ultrasound tests
  • Echocardiography


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is at a higher risk for heart disease – men or women?
For many years, heart disease was considered to affect men more often, but new research indicates that the risk of women developing heart disease is similar to the risk in men; it simply tends to occur at a later age in women.

Generally, men are more at risk of heart disease between the ages of 50 to 60 years old. Women are usually diagnosed with heart disease between the ages of 65-70. The difference is not who is at greater risk, but the age at which men and women develop heart disease.

With the necessary lifestyle changes both men and women can decrease their chances of developing heart disease.

Why are the elderly at risk for heart disease?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in men and women over age of 65. The most common form of cardiovascular disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which is the narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. CAD is caused by plaque buildup in the arteries to the heart. This narrows the arteries, which slows or stops blood flow to the heart.

The elderly may also be at greater risk because of how the heart changes as people age. For some, the chambers of the heart pump less efficiently, which can result in greater chances of heart disease.

Blood pressure can also increase with age. High blood pressure is associated with heart failure, heart attack and stroke.

Are people of a certain race at greater risk for heart disease?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the U.S., including Caucasians, African Americans and Hispanics. For Native Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, heart disease is second only to cancer.

Why does smoking contribute to heart disease?
Cigarette smoking is such a significant risk factor that the U.S. Surgeon General called it the “leading preventable cause of disease and deaths in the United States."

Not only does cigarette smoking increase the risk of heart disease by itself, but in combination with other risk factors, it greatly increases risk. Smoking increases blood pressure and blood clotting and decreases lung function and exercise tolerance. For young men and women, it is a significant risk factor as it can produce a greater relative risk in developing heart disease in persons under age 50 than those over age 50. Visit the Quit Tobacco Program page for more information on how Renown Health can help you quit.

How does obesity contribute to heart disease?
Obesity is defined as too much body fat or 20 percent or more above a person's ideal weight. Over one-third of U.S. adults are obese (approximately 75 million adults). Nearly one in every three U.S. children between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight or obese.

Too much body fat, particularly around the waist, makes a person at a higher risk for high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, diabetes and ultimately heart disease and stroke. Obesity by itself significantly increases the risk of heart disease.

What should you do if you find out you are at high risk for heart disease?
If a medical professional assesses your health and finds that you are at a high risk of developing heart disease, you could very likely develop heart disease within the next couple of years, or you already have heart disease and don’t know it.

It's important that either your primary care physician or your cardiologist evaluates you to determine if you already have Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and if so, initiate the appropriate treatment strategy.

Your physician will develop a clear and aggressive plan to control or modify your risk factors. This may include smoking cessation, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, diet changes, regular exercise and weight loss. Your physician will be helpful, but it will be up to you to remain committed to the lifestyle changes.