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The mission of the Cardiac Imaging Research Team (CIRT) is to develop nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT and cardiac MRI methods that will help reduce death and disability from cardiovascular diseases. Through research and development of noninvasive imaging techniques, CIRT's goal is early detection and prevention and ultimately, eradication of heart attacks.
CIRT is a nonprofit, self-funded research organization housed in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center of Cedars-Sinai.
Research programs unique to CIRT include:
Cardiac Imaging Research Registry
For more than 20 years, CIRT has been collecting what is now the world's largest registry of information from patients who have undergone cardiac imaging studies. The information derived from historical, demographical, clinical, imaging, and outcomes data from patients undergoing cardiac imaging procedures, including nuclear cardiology SPECT and PET, cardiac CT, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will be used to conduct retrospective and future analyses that will help advance the field of cardiac imaging focused around the following general aims to investigate:
- Technical questions such as issues related to the acquisition parameters, image processing, and quantitative analysis
- Diagnostic capabilities to detect disease and assess risk compared to other assessments
- Prognostic value to predict adverse outcomes of cardiovascular disease and all cause mortality
- The usefulness of the testing to guide clinical decision making and monitor therapy with the goal of preventing adverse outcomes
Using this registry, CIRT has performed analyses that have shaped the way physicians around the world use nuclear cardiology testing to guide patient management including properly selecting patients for angioplasty or bypass surgery and reducing unnecessary invasive procedures.
Eisner Heart Watch Program
Supported by a generous grant from The Eisner Foundation, this program investigates the usefulness of coronary calcium screening for early detection and management of atherosclerosis. Through this program, CIRT has contributed to significant changes in the clinical applications of noninvasive cardiac imaging resulting in:
- More accurate methods for determining risk for developing coronary artery disease by using noninvasive test results in combination with traditional risk factors
- Early identification of subclincal atherosclerosis allowing patients to address problems before they strike
- Justification for third-party reimbursement of scan costs