Cardiovascular Imaging Training Program
The North Carolina Baptist Hospital has 830 licensed hospital beds, a level 1 trauma center, and active services in cardiac and renal transplantation. The hospital is the largest tertiary care center for the Piedmont region of the Southeastern United States. Although its primary service area is a 26-county region in northwestern North Carolina and southwest Virginia, the Medical Center in the past year has served patients from 91 North Carolina counties, 39 additional states and several foreign countries. Facilities applicable to this training program include:
Reynolds Tower Cardiovascular Imaging Suite (Cardiac Magnetic Resonance and Computed Tomography)The Reynolds Tower Cardiovascular Imaging Center is a Cardiology/Radiology jointly managed suite that houses both clinical cardiovascular magnetic resonance and cardiovascular computed tomography. The suite comprises over 3000 sq. feet of space and consists of a 1.5 Tesla Siemens Avanto MRI scanner, and 2 GE 64 slice computed tomography scanners. There is both outpatient and inpatient waiting and preparation facilities, and equipment necessary to perform contrast injections, as well as hemodynamic monitoring for the performance of cardiovascular magnetic resonance stress tests (an average of 4 cardiac MRI stress tests are performed each day). In addition, there is a reading room facility with monitoring capabilities of all noninvasive imaging procedures within the suite. Software and hardware are available to assist with acquisition post processing and storage. These devices include PACS workstations, TeraRecon workstations, and both Cardiovue and Webpacs computer software for the display, interpretation, and storage of image data sets. Three Leonardo (Siemens Solutions), 2 HARP, and 4 PIE workstations are available for image analyses and the post-processing of MRI image data. Each day, a total of 8 to 9 cardiac magnetic resonance imaging exams, and 4 to 5 computed cardiac CT exams are performed.
Center for Clinical Ultrasound: The Cardiac Ultrasound and Stress Testing Lab at Wake Forest University/NC Baptist Hospital employees 14 adult sonographers 2 of which are Nurse/sonographers. There are an additional 4 registered nurses within this department. There are also 6 cardiac stress technologists. Twenty iE33 Philips Ultrasound machines (4 stress machines, 3 in the operating room, 4 portables, 2 TEE, 7 transthoracic) are used for image acquisition. Each of the 20 machines have capabilities such as stress, 3D, and simultaneous Doppler tissue imaging. They are loaded with transducers for 2D imaging with harmonics, 3D imaging, and transesophageal studies with harmonics. Procedures in Cardiac Ultrasound include: Transthoracic echoes with an annual volume of 14,000; Transesophageal echoes with an annual volume of 1,200; Exercise echoes with an annual volume of 3,100; Pharmacologic stress echoes with an annual volume of 1,700; 3D ultrasound with a projected annual volume of 300. The Cardiac Ultrasound and Stress Testing Lab contains 15 procedure rooms that include 6 transthoracic echo rooms, 2 transesophageal echo rooms, 6 stress rooms, and 1 research room. There is a dedicated Q-Lab workstation for quantitative analyses of digital images, and a Kodak system for quantitative analyses of images from videotapes. The reading room contains 6 Xcelera digital reading stations that have the capability to manipulate 3D images. The Cardiac and Ultrasound Stress testing Lab at Wake Forest University/Baptist Hospital has been a documented pioneer in the clinical use of 3-Dimensional and Contrast echocardiography authoring 6 of the original clinical descriptions of these technologies in peer reviewed journals.
Center for Nuclear Medicine: The Cardiac Radionuclide Imaging Laboratory is equipped with a Philips Brightview XCT SPECT-CT, a Philips Brightview gamma camera, and a GE Discovery DST-1 PET scanner. The center comprises over 2000 square feet of space dedicated to cardiac imaging. Four faculty perform interpretations full-time. Radioisotope handling is monitored in accordance with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. For cardiac studies, monthly conferences are held to perform catheterization correlations with contrast coronary angiography.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET):
The PET facility is headed by Pradeep Garg, Ph.D., Professor, Division of Radiologic Sciences, formerly interim director of Yale University PET Center, and a program faculty member on the current proposal. His expertise is in radiochemistry. There is one GE VCT PET/CT scanner and a GE PETtrace 16.5 MeV cyclotron for the production of various medical radioisotopes including C-11, F-18 and O-15. His radiopharmaceutical production laboratories are equipped with four hot-cells, 4-mini cells, and several automated module to prepare several radiotracers for human imaging as well as for imaging in NHP and small animals. The laboratory currently produces over two dozen radiopharmaceuticals on as needed basis to support various research projects and contracts. The PET facilities also have a microPET scanner (P4) for imaging rodents and NHP. There is a dedicated image viewing area to interpret scans and a data analysis room. There are several SUN Ultra 60's and Sun SPARC 20's computers and work stations for data/image analysis. Software includes Matlab (Mathworks, Inc), IDL (Research Systems, Inc.), and P-MOD. The major goal of this laboratory is collaborative research and to develop novel radiopharmaceuticals for imaging and therapy applications.
TheCenter for Biomolecular Imaging is a multi-technology, Medical School facility comprised of state-of-the-art imaging modalities. Its purpose is to support state-of-the-art imaging research while facilitating multi-disciplinary research. The Center was created in response to the pivotal role imaging technologies are playing in both clinical and basic sciences research. The Center fosters an environment that provides academic growth for faculty engaged in all areas of research. Part of its mission is to change the imaging research paradigm from pathoanatomy to imaging opportunities related to physiologic/functional imaging and molecular imaging. The goals of the Center are to provide new research opportunities by encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation; supporting public and private grant funded research; integrating all researchers utilizing imaging techniques; engaging in hardware and software development; sponsoring grants for technical development and encouraging industry funded research.
Department of Biomedical Engineering and The Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences- The Department of Biomedical Engineering at WFUHS has a long history of medical imaging in research and education, offering and MS and a PhD degree with a focus in imaging work. As part of the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES), this unique partnership brings the resources of the WFU School of Medicine together with the Virginia Tech Colleges of Engineering and Veterinary Medicine and provides exceptional opportunities for graduate and post graduate trainees. Recently, SBES has taken ownership of three new facilities for a total of over 80,000 sq ft of dedicated biomedical engineering research and teaching space at both campuses. SBES has 39 tenure track faculty (16 primary and 23 joint) as well as an additional 68 affiliate faculty appointments in the biomedical program. Over the past academic year, the biomedical engineering faculty has published 184 journal papers and additional 206 conference papers.
For imaging trainees, the Biomedical Imaging Division has the mission of defining biomedical imaging frontiers, optimizing clinical/pre-clinical potentials, and training the next generation of imaging scientists and engineers. The Division is directed by Professor Ge Wang, and internationally known researcher in various imaging areas but especially in computed tomography (CT). We invite you to visit the Division website at www.imaging.sbes.vt.edu.