Spectrum Health Strengthens Cardiac Imaging Program

New imaging suite is only program in West Michigan to provide full range of advanced cardiac imaging

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., August 19, 2021 – The Spectrum Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute took delivery of a Siemens 1.5 Tesla Sola magnet this week, which strengthens its commitment to providing state-of-the-art cardiac imaging to patients in West Michigan.

The new magnet, which will be located in the new Cardiac MRI Suite on the first floor of the Meijer Heart Center, will open to patients in mid-September. Spectrum Health’s comprehensive Cardiac MRI Program is the only program in West Michigan that provides the full spectrum of advanced cardiac imaging, including stress cardiac MRI. The imaging experts are also embedded in the clinical care of patients by directly participating in various multidisciplinary programs which rely on cardiac MRI for medical decision making.

“The new Cardiac MRI Suite in Meijer Heart Center demonstrates the commitment to adopting state of the art technologies in cardiac imaging for the comprehensive care of our cardiovascular patients,” said David Wohns, MD, division chief of cardiovascular medicine, and interventional cardiologist, at Spectrum Health. “This program highlights to our community the dedication to, and investment in, advanced technologies for the comprehensive evaluation of a wide range of cardiovascular conditions.”

Cardiac MRI allows physicians to image the heart in ways other imaging modalities are not able to. A cardiac MRI examination, which typically lasts 45 – 60 minutes, gives the most accurate assessment of heart function and cardiac chamber sizes, accurate views of the valves, as well as direct visualization for any fibrosis or scarring of the heart muscle. Performing a cardiac MRI allows cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons to non-invasively determine which patients may benefit from invasive procedures such as cardiac stent placement or open-heart surgery.

A dedicated group of various cardiovascular experts at the Meijer Heart Center work collaboratively to incorporate information from cardiac MRI, as well as other diagnostic and imaging modalities, to achieve the best therapeutic plan and outcome for each patient. This new Cardiac MRI Suite will also further enhance current cardiac research and academic capabilities.

“This technology allows us to make diagnoses that can really make a difference,” said Wissam Abdallah, MD, medical director of cardiac MRI, and advanced imaging cardiologist, at Spectrum Health. “A cardiac MRI exam can answer a myriad of questions with one test, allowing us to not only identify a disease state, but to determine where in the disease process we are.”

“The field of cardiac MRI has rapidly expanded in the past several years establishing cardiac MRI as the main imaging modality to evaluate various cardiomyopathies, myocardial viability, accurate quantification of valvular heart disease, as well as cardiac inflammation and fibrosis. A growing body of literature has also demonstrated the superiority of stress cardiac MRI to other stress imaging modalities,” Dr. Abdallah said. “Here at Spectrum Health, we frequently incorporate cardiac MRI in the medical decision making for many patients to accurately diagnose their underlying cardiac conditions and to provide the best treatment recommendations.”

The Spectrum Health Cardiac MRI Program has witnessed a 330% increase in volume since 2013. It is anticipated that the additional magnet in the ‘heart’ of the Meijer Heart Center will significantly improve access to this powerful technology and allow patients the ability to undergo the necessary testing to assist in their diagnosis and treatment plan.



People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our long and continuing legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Our award-winning team improves health, inspires hope and saves lives across 13 counties in West Michigan. We bring together 11 hospitals—including Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, with expert care from 350+ pediatric specialists in 70+ specialties and programs—three rehabilitation and nursing centers, 120 outpatient sites and telehealth services. We are proud to work with 4,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, including Spectrum Health Medical Group, one of the largest and most comprehensive multispecialty physician groups in West Michigan.

Tim Hawkins
Media Relations
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