Information for Patients

Cardiothoracic Imaging

Cardiothoracic Imaging specializes in the diagnosis of diseases and disorders of the lungs, mediastinum, airway, pleura and chest wall, myocardium, and coronary arteries. Our faculty are diagnostic experts in critical care, thoracic trauma, pulmonary thromboembolic disease, diseases of the thoracic aorta, interstitial lung disease, lung cancer, emphysema, asthma, infectious diseases, occupational lung disease, congenital and acquired myocardial, pericardial and coronary artery disease.

Currently seven faculty comprise the recently integrated and well-established Thoracic Imaging and Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging Sections and are responsible for interpreting in-patient and out-patient chest radiographs, all chest CT’s including HRCT, CT Aortography, CT Pulmonary Angiography, Cardiac CTA’s, as well as Cardiac MRI and pre-ablation pulmonary vein MR studies.  Thoracic interventions performed by the section include lung and mediastinal biopsies. The section interprets approximately 90,000 chest radiographs, more than 18,000 chest CT’s/ CTA’s and over 650 cardiac MRI/MRA studies, and performs approximately 150 thoracic interventions annually.  Working in conjunction with the Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Thoracic Surgery, and Smoking Cessation, we created the first university based Lung Cancer Screening Program using low-dose technology in the state of Virginia. Our program and its multi-disciplinary approach have served as a model for other academic screening programs across the country. The Lung Cancer Screening Program was recently endorsed by the Lung Cancer Alliance as a center of excellence.

All imaging is fully digitized on a recently upgraded state-of-art McKesson PACS system. Advanced post-processing modalities including TeraRecon, Vitrea, Syngovia, WebPAX, CMR42, and hospital RIS access is readily accessible at individual 6 megapixel color monitors and workstations. PowerScribe, a flexible Web based speech recognition system, was upgraded to the latest version in February 2011. We will again upgrade to PowerScribe 360 in the fall of 2012. Our department has state-of-the-art imaging equipment including 6 current MDCT scanners, 3 of which are Siemen Flash scanners, and 4-1.5T MRI scanners.  These technologic advances allow our Cardiothoracic Imaging specialists to be effective and efficient consultants for both staff and non-staff physicians serving the hospital, it’s three out-patient clinics and the neighboring communities.
Our Cardiothoracic Imaging Section works in close association with the Department of Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine, Thoracic Surgery, Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery, and Cardiology, as well as other subspecialty programs. Daily clinical-radiologic rounds are conducted with the Medical Respiratory Intensive Care Unit (MRICU) staff, fellows and residents. A weekly Thoracic Imaging-Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine Imaging Conference is also held. This popular multi-disciplinary conference is attended not only by radiology, critical care and pulmonary medicine, but also by thoracic surgery, internal medicine and pulmonary pathology. Our staff also participates in a weekly multi-specialty Chest Tumor Conference at the Massey Cancer Center and a weekly quality assurance conference. The section also participates in a monthly Pediatric Cardiology Imaging Conference.

Our Cardiothoracic Imaging section has an extensive education program. Two to three radiology residents at various levels of training and two to four fourth year medical students rotate through our specialty on a monthly basis. Three imaging conferences are held with the radiology residents each month. Since July 2009, under staff supervision, residents participate in the development of a “Case of the Week” which is posted on the internet and used as an educational tool. To date, more than 65 countries around the world access the Cardiothoracic Case of the Week web site. A one-year fellowship program devoted exclusively to Cardiothoracic Imaging is also offered.

Our staff is actively involved with several national organizations including the Society of Thoracic Radiology (STR), American College of Radiology (ACR), American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS), Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT), and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). Our Thoracic Imaging Section Chief is also a member of the American College of Radiology’s Continuous Professional Improvement Committee (CPI), coauthoring modules that combine images, questions, answers, rationales and references into one publication for an authentic self-assessment, CME and SAM credits, as well as serves as an oral examiner for the American Board of Radiology, and has coauthored two thoracic imaging textbooks, the latest being Chest Imaging Case Atlas, 2nd edition. Our Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging Section Chief is actively involved in the above societies and his expertise in cardiac imaging is recognized on local, regional, and national levels. He has co-authored the textbook Cardiovascular MRI in Practice: A Teaching File Approach.

Chief
Mark S. Parker, M.D.
Professor
Director, Thoracic Imaging
Department of Radiology
Phone: (804) 828-5064
Fax: (804) 628-1132
E-mail: mark.parker@vcuhealth.org

Chief
John G. Grizzard, M.D.
Associate Professor
Director, Non-invasive Cardiovascular Imaging
Department of Radiology
Phone: (804) 828-8569
Fax: (804) 628-1132
E-mail: john.grizzard@vcuhealth.org

Administrative assistant
Betty Arkwright
Phone: (804) 828-0534
Fax: (804) 628-1132
E-mail: betty.arkwright@vcuhealth.org

VCU Department of Radiology Virginia Commonwealth University VCU Medical Center