The Stephenson Cardiac Imaging Centre is a world-renowned academic clinical program within the Libin Cardiovascular Institute. Founded in 2005, the Centre has performed over 15,000 clinical MRI studies and set an international benchmark for the use of MRI to diagnose and manage patients with cardiovascular disease. The Centre has led international initiatives and guidelines, trained future academic leaders, and provided countless landmark contributions to the field, positioning it in the top 10th percentile of all academic cardiovascular MRI (CMR) programs in the world.
In 2013, a new scientific vision has been launched at the Stephenson Cardiac Imaging Centre that will grow this legacy of leadership and innovation. Upon the Centre’s established success we have initiated an academic mission in the field of “image-guided therapeutics” where imaging is directly used to inform clinical decisions or deliver therapies, such as devices, procedures, or medications. This represents a paradigm shift from the traditional use of imaging to provide a diagnosis, leaving the referring physician to decide how to proceed. Importantly, this novel approach allows imaging to be evaluated; assessed for its impact on improving patient health and important outcomes. Early priority has been placed on the most impactful areas of cardiovascular disease, conducting multi-centre clinical trials on specialized devices to prevent sudden death (implantable cardiac defibrillators) and reduce heart failure symptoms (cardiac resynchronization therapy). This work will pave the way for international collaboration and initiatives aimed at changing the way we manage cardiovascular disease. We are also evaluating novel approaches to detect heart disease at its earliest stages using novel techniques called tissue "mapping" and 4-dimensional strain analysis. These are being applied to several important patient groups, such as those receieving chemotherapy for the treatement of breast cancer or lymphoma, and those suspected of metabolic diseases of the heart (ie: Fabry disease).
Within this renewed academic vision we recognize that no single imaging modality supports all aspects of optimal patient care. Therefore, we embrace the contributions of other cardiovascular imaging tools and have broadened our mission to support innovative research in the fields of Cardiac CTA and Echocardiography. These rapidly growing academic programs are providing a broadening of our research program and attracting new investigators to our team.