The Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Imaging Section is composed of four service-units providing support for patient care, medical education and research. The backbone of the service remains the Echocardiography Laboratory.
The remaining three units are Cardiac MRI service, Vascular Imaging Laboratory, and Cardiovascular CT.
The Echocardiography Laboratory
The central nervous system of the Echocardiography Laboratory is located at the 5th floor of the Alfred Blalock Building, The Hospital. It occupies the entire east wing of the building comprising four large rooms dedicated to the acquisition of all types of cardiac ultrasound examinations, including transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiograms, at rest and during pharmacologic and exercise induced stress.
Facilities at the Blalock building also include a viewing area for test interpretation and space for the offices of medical director, sonographers and nurses staffing the laboratory. In addition, the laboratory occupies three examining rooms at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center with adjacent viewing area and office for sonographers assigned to the outpatient center.
10,000 Echocardiographic Studies Yearly.The laboratory is equipped with 12 top of line echocardiographic systems, three of which are solely dedicated to research. It is staffed with eight full time and two part time sonographers, and two full time nurses, dedicated to clinical and investigative echocardiography. Staff performs approximately 10,000 echocardiographic studies per year, and it is, at the present time, in the process of transitioning to digital technology for acquisition, archival and retrieval of echocardiographic images.
Satellite echocardiographic laboratories located at all Johns Hopkins community sites, including White Marsh, Green Spring Station, Odenton, Columbia, and at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, function in close connection with the central echocardiographic laboratory. The studies are performed by sonographers trained at the main hospital but are interpreted locally by faculty physicians staffing the respective clinics. Digital connections link the satellite locations so the databases of such laboratories will be linked to the main echocardiographic database at Hopkins.
Non-Invasive Faculty also cover the volume of transesophageal echocardiograms in the operating room (approximately 800 studies per year) which are daily performed by a group of anesthesiologists trained in the performance and interpretation of these studies by the Non-Invasive Imaging Section. The commitment to medical education is illustrated by the fact that at all times; at least three full time cardiology clinical fellows are assigned to the echocardiography laboratory. In addition, a school for training sonographers has been pioneered in the laboratory with 4-6 students trained annually. One regular conference to review the important cases of the week is held on Thursdays and an additional section on the interpretation of intra-operative TEEs is held every Tuesday.