Expanding Cardiac Technology: Interview with Steven M. Strobbe, DO, Executive Physician, CEO, Florida Institute for Advanced Dia

Interviewed by Jodie Miller
Interviewed by Jodie Miller
When did the Florida Institute for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging open? The FIFADI has a long history in Florida, with its genesis dating back over 20 years. Associated with the Gulf Coast Medical Center since 1982, the Florida Institute for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging has evolved into an independent, privately owned center boasting its own state-of-the-art facility that houses diagnostic and technological equipment recognized the world over for its excellence. How did FIFADI become such a well-recognized expert in cardiac imaging? The FIFADI has already performed, documented, and correlated over 700 CT coronary angiograms at its center, which easily qualifies and quantifies its position of leadership in the field of cardiac imaging. The Florida Institute for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging has created a diagnostic environment that is state-of-the-art and referring physician friendly; it is where the cardiac patient can efficiently and comfortably undergo comprehensive, cost-effective and non-invasive coronary CT evaluation. We then added expert technical and interpretative ability to the final product. When we merged this superior diagnostic service with our relentless passion to push imaging technology to its ultimate purpose and application, we found our place among the leaders in the field of cardiac CT. What are some of the EP procedures performed at the FIFADI? A procedure performed at the FIFADI includes CT cardiac angiography with retrospective cardiac gating and three-dimensional reformation. Atrial fibrillation is an increasingly common diagnosis, and ablation is one of the procedures used in the treatment of this arrhythmia. We are using CT cardiac angiography as a pre-surgical intervention, in the treatment of atrial fibrillation, to provide an anatomical roadmap to the EP cardiologist before an invasive ablation procedure is undertaken, thereby improving patient outcomes and reducing patient exposure to invasive procedure times. The key is to achieve a high quality image and to accurately reconstruct the heart. A properly executed CTA permits visualization of vessel anatomy and atherosclerotic stenosis. This offers the ability to concurrently view both normal and atypical coronary artery anatomy, which will lead to more accurate detection of cardiac disease through a non-invasive method. Cardiac CT provides the EP cardiologist clearly defined landmarks. Tell us about the recent addition of cardiac CTA technology. We visualize and quantify the coronary artery system showing obstructive and nonobstructive diseases, which is sometimes invisible to cardiac catheterization. We are proud to be one of the first outpatient centers in the country to offer this cutting-edge technology. CT coronary angiography is a relatively new procedure that allows for comprehensive three-dimensional colorized visualization of the heart s anatomy, without the risk of the more invasive steps associated with traditional cardiac catheterization. When will it be utilized? As I mentioned earlier, we are already utilizing this technology on a daily basis. The FIFADI has already completed over 700 studies, and is currently the national leader in diagnostic cardiac CT imaging performance. We are involved in the study of specialized applications of this advanced technology, as well as the furnishing of diagnostic options to a both a widening physician- and self-referred domestic and international patient market. What other cardiac imaging equipment does the Florida Institute for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging offer? Our focus is cardiac technology: CT, MRI, and PET/CT. Our patients are offered a full service diagnostic center that provides comprehensive imaging technology, which includes our 16-slice CT, 1.5 high-field MRI, open MRI, dedicated PET and nuclear medicine. Should the need arise, we can also provide full radiology and laboratory services. Describe the features of cardiac computed tomography angiography. CT coronary angiography can be performed more quickly, comfortably, affordably, and safely than traditional coronary angiography, while offering similar images to those provided by the more invasive heart catheterization. Only an IV line, contrast, and minimal lab tests are required; consequently, there is minimal risk for the patient. Hospitalization is not required, and the entire procedure usually takes only about 10 minutes. What are some of the advantages of this new technology? The CT coronary angiogram is demonstrating its usefulness as a non-invasive alternative to conventional catheter angiography that is capable of documenting both hard and soft plaque formations. Additionally, it gives us precise pictures of how the blood is flowing through the arteries, and whether there are any restrictions in blood flow. These are tremendous advantages; with recent emphasis being placed on data surrounding the study of soft plaque formation and its relationship to acute myocardial infarction, it seems CT angiography will become an integral tool in the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease and acute myocardial infarction. How will it improve physician performance? It will improve physician performance by enabling the physician to more precisely evaluate, plan, and execute the treatment of heart disease. How will AF patients benefit from this new technology? This technology is proving itself as an invaluable tool that offers the ability to visually locate vessels and then determine the size and shape of those vessels and the patterns of their side branches, before the patient is taken blindly to surgery. Is the FIFADI currently involved in any clinical trials or research projects? Yes. The FIFADI is involved in an extensive private research study that involves the correlation between CT coronary angiography and traditional invasive cardiac catheterization findings, including sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of exams. In addition, a separate study is being conducted evaluating cardiac CTA as a precursor to cardiac ablation therapy. Is there anything else you would like to add? CT coronary angiography technology is continuing to prove itself daily. This is an exciting time for all of us at the FIFADI. Never before have physicians had so many options available to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease through imaging science. We are proud to be associated with this endeavor. To learn more about The Florida Institute for Advanced Diagnostic Imaging, please check out their website: http://www.diag1.com