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 imaging (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
As part of an academic medical institution, the Non-invasive Cardiovascular Imaging Director and faculty members serve as educators and leading authors of medical publications.
John D. Grizzard, M.D.
Non-invasive Cardiovascular Imaging Specialist
At the Forefront of Innovative Cardiovascular Imaging Research
John D. Grizzard, M.D., Director of Non-invasive Cardiovascular Imaging at VCU Health, specializes in Non-invasive Cardiovascular Imaging, Cardiac MRI, Coronary CTA and Neuroradiology. In his role as Director of Noninvasive Cardiovascular Imaging, Dr. Grizzard teaches cardiovascular MRI and coronary CTA techniques to cardiology fellows and radiology residents. 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 on a variety of cardiovascular imaging topics at national and regional meetings, including American College of Cardiology, Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and Sentara – Norfolk General and DCMRC CMR Practicum. He is also the first author of a book titled Cardiovascular MR Imaging—A Teaching File Approach.