The VCU Department of Radiology offers comprehensive non-invasive cardiovascular imaging using the latest technology. Our radiologists are medical doctors with expertise in heart scans (calcium scoring), cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and coronary computed tomography angiogram (CTA).
Patients and referring providers visit VCU Health for appointment information.
The VCU Department of Radiology provide expertise in aortic stent grafting using guided imaging techniques to treat aortic aneurysms. A stent graft is a small tube made of fabric supported by a metal mesh. The stent, typically put in place using a catheter, is designed to seal tightly with the artery above and below the aneurysm reinforcing the wall of the vessel making it safe for blood to flow through.
The aorta is the main artery carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to areas all over the body that extends from the left ventricle of the heart and goes through the chest, down through the midsection of the body, and into the pelvis. An untreated aneurysm runs the risk of bursting and causing severe health complications, including death. Aortic stent grafting procedure lends itself to shorter hospital visits, less pain, less recovery time and less of a chance for complications.
An aortic aneurysm is an abnormal enlargement or bulging of a blood vessel and is the result of a segment of the vessel becoming weak and unable to withstand the pressure of blood flowing through. The bulge will generally occur at the area of the weakened part of the vessel and will usually start out small and grow as the pressure continues to build.
A heart scan or calcium scoring is a non-invasive screening test that identifies conditions associated with an increased risk of heart disease. The goal of this test is to detect coronary artery disease at an early stage. In some cases before symptoms are present.
The heart scan (calcium scoring) is a non-invasive exam of the heart that uses a high speed computed tomography (CT) scanner. The scanner generates cross-sectional images of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Our subspecialty trained radiologists use the images to identify deposits of calcium in the walls of the coronary arteries. Calcium deposits are linked to the build-up of plaque or atherosclerosis that causes blockages in the coronary arteries.
A CT scan of the heart allows the opportunity to detect even the most minor changes early. Using the cross-sectional images created by a CT scanner can allow for earlier detection and in some cases before symptoms are present.
The VCU Department of Radiology specialty-trained radiologists offer cardiac magnetic resonance (MRI), cardiac magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) to evaluate the blood vessels and the heart to provide an accurate snapshot of the heart and coronary anatomy.
Using state-of-the-art technology, we offer noninvasive options to examine the heart and blood vessels from head to toe. MRA and CTA are entirely non-invasive and provide radiologists with a complete, 360-degree image of the heart and vessels. The degree of precision in diagnosing vascular obstructions is not possible with conventional angiography.
Cardiac MRI, cardiac MRA and coronary CTA are routinely used to examine and assess the following:
- Vessels of the head and neck
- The heart and pericardium
- Great vessels
- Thoracic and abdominal aorta and their branches
- Vessels of the extremities
- Renal artery stenosis
- Renal and liver donors
Cardiovascular Imaging Professorship Gift
The Charles L. Baird, Jr. M.D. Professorship in Cardiovascular Imaging
In 2009, the Charles L. Baird, Jr. M.D. Professorship in Innovative Cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia Foundation and Virginia Commonwealth University was re-tasked as the Charles L. Baird, Jr. M.D. Professorship in Cardiovascular Imaging. The original endowment fund was established with a gift of $250,000 from Charles and Jane Baird in 2000.
A 1957 graduate of the School of Medicine at MCV, Dr. Baird initiated both the Coronary Care System at MCV and the mobile coronary care system in the community in the 1960s. He was the founder, Director and cardiologist at Virginia Heart Institute (now the VCU Baird Vascular Institute) from 1972 – 2008. Dr. Baird was the nation’s first cardiologist to perform outpatient cardiac catheterization in an outpatient setting; he took it from a three-day inpatient procedure to a three-hour outpatient procedure. His mission was to diagnose high-risk patients early in the course of their disease. In recognition of the toll that cardiovascular disease is taking on the citizens of the Commonwealth, Dr. Baird and his wife, Jane, originally established this Professorship. It was Dr. Baird's hope, and it remains the wishes of Mrs. Jane Baird Hyde and the Baird family, that this endowment fund be used to attract and retain the best and brightest faculty - physicians, scientists, and educators at the MCV Campus in order to focus on non-invasive and low cost methods of early detection of heart disease. It is the Donor's intent that this Professorship be awarded to a deserving faculty member doing innovative work in the field of Cardiovascular Imaging in the VCU Department of Radiology.
As such, this endowment has been granted to support John D. Grizzard, M.D. - Director of Noninvasive Cardiovascular Imaging at VCU Medical Center. Specializing in Noninvasive Cardiovascular Imaging, Cardiac MRI, Coronary CT Angiography and Neuroradiology, Dr. Grizzard is on the forefront of innovative Cardiovascular Imaging research and patient care.
In his role as director of noninvasive cardiovascular imaging, Dr. Grizzard teaches Cardiology fellows and Radiology residents both cardiovascular MR imaging as well as coronary CT angiography techniques. He participates in collaborative research, both on a national level (the REVEAL Trial, the PROMISE trial) and regionally with the Duke Cardiovascular MR Center. He has spoken at national (American College of Cardiology, Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance) and regional (Sentara –Norfolk General and DCMRC CMR Practicum) meetings on a variety of cardiovascular imaging topics, and is the first author of a book titled Cardiovascular MR Imaging—A Teaching File Approach. Learn More about the Value of Giving.
As part of an academic medical institution, the Cardiovascular Imaging Director and faculty members serve as educators and leading authors of medical publications.
John D. Grizzard, M.D.