Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center

Access to world-class expertise in cardiovascular imaging allows physicians to see details and detect issues of the heart and vascular system that might otherwise go undiagnosed.

The Vision of the Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center

In 2018, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation launched the Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center, a state-of-the-art academic cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) imaging laboratory. Building on the successful program developed by Dr. John Lesser, the center is led by Dr. João Cavalcante, a renowned multi-modality trained imaging cardiologist. Our leading expertise and access to the latest technology allow us to support work across all areas of cardiology, and the center has become a regional resource for challenging cases. 

Dr. João Cavalcante was announced as the Inaugural Innovation Chair of the Van Tassel Innovation Center in 2023–established to recognize and support an Allina Health Minneapolis Heart Institute physician, who wishes to create a research program dedicated to a transformational approach to cardiovascular disease or prevention.

Making a Difference in Patient Care

Often a patient doesn't even realize they are benefiting from the deep level of research that has gone into improvements in cardiovascular imaging, but their treatment is greatly altered because of these significant advances. 

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Finding Undetected Conditions

Ann had three ablations due to A-Fib. After a state-of-the-art imaging examination and evaluation, she was found to have amyloidosis, a condition that stiffens the muscle of the heart. The disease was quite advanced but previously undetected. Fortunately, medication allowed Ann to have a much-improved result based on the diagnosis.

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Treating the Right Illness

Bob had received several valve interventions in an effort to improve his heart function but reported feeling worse for unknown reasons. After evaluation at MHIF, he was found to have another previously undetected condition that was treatable, which alleviated the need for him to have another procedure and greatly improved his condition.

Goals of the Imaging Research Center

Not long ago, open-heart surgery was performed to explore options. Now, state-of-the-art imaging provides physicians with better information to consider many more options for care — from interventions to medications. Recent technological advances in cardiac imaging have led to radical improvement for patients so they receive better, faster, and more accurate care. Our Imaging Research Center focuses attention on three areas.

Our Services

We are dedicated to providing world-class CT and CMR imaging services.

Clinical Trial Design and Image Acquisition Protocol Development

Our Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center staff and our physicians are experts in reviewing and developing study protocols to ensure imaging requirements are appropriate to achieve study screening and endpoints.

Image Acquisition Protocol Development

Site training and qualification have become required aspects of clinical trials that utilize imaging as endpoints. The Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center will collaborate and develop imaging acquisition protocols and manuals to ensure the specific endpoints are properly obtained.

Site Imaging Training and Qualification

Our staff can provide site training on study-specific equipment and imaging requirements, imaging acquisition protocols, personnel experience requirements, and study site certification.

Case Report Form (CRF) Development

Our staff members are physicians and quality assurance professionals available to work with the study sponsors to develop case report forms for accurate, complete imaging data collection.

Expert CT and CMR Image Analysis

Study-specific imaging protocols will be developed by Dr. João Cavalcante and team to ensure protocol compliance and expert imaging acquisition and analysis.

Statistical Analysis and Data Interpretation

Our biostatisticians support robust inter- and intra-rater variability controls to ensure analysis consistency.  Data interpretation and statistical analysis support is available from the Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center.

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Make a Life-Changing Donation

Any gift, small or large, advances transformative research to save lives.

Give the Gift of Hope
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The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) strives to create a world without heart and vascular disease. To achieve this bold vision, we are dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education.

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, we can continue this life-saving work. Please make a gift to support the area of greatest need.

All Gifts Matched! Educating the Next Generation of Heart Heroes

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Since 2002, MHIF's Clinical Research Internship Program has hosted 235+ students for a unique physician-mentored cardiovascular research internship for undergraduate students. Interns not only gain exceptional experience that helps them prepare for medical school, they also help move MHIF research forward.

Community support is key to our ability to enlist the highest level of talent with annual internship costs exceeding $25,000 per intern. Build new opportunities for the next generation of world-class physician researchers by making a MATCHED gift by May 31st!