In a series of firsts in East Malaysia, we acquired a 64-slice CT scanner in January 2005 and soon after the first coronary CT angiogram was performed. This proved to be an attractive non-invasive imaging modality to exclude coronary artery disease in patients at low to intermediate likelihood for the disease.
In 2011, we took delivery of a new scanner, the Siemens Flash. Its dual-source technology allows for single-heartbeat scans and much lower radiation exposure. The numbers (of appropriate scans, no less) really took off after that. In the last 4 years, an average of 700 scans were performed annually.
The cardiac CT service is wholly run by the cardiology department, and supported by trained radiographers from the radiology department.
Being one of the front runners in cardiac CT in the country, we naturally took on the role of trainers. With the support of Siemens, we have conducted many cardiac CT workshops. They were mostly well-attended, drawing participants from all over South East Asia.
State-of-the-Art Cardiac Imaging
Ever since the first cardiac MRI (CMR) was performed in the Sarawak General Hospital in February 2004, this modality has slowly but steadily gained ground. Our current workhorse scanner, the Philips Achieva 1.5T, commissioned in 2012, averages about 600 in caseload annually. The most common indications are cardiomyopathy and viability assessment. Since 2017, we have been running 2-weekly sessions at the Sarawak General Hospital, utilising the new Siemens Magnetom Aera 1.5T.
We have conducted many CMR workshops, and had the privilege of having some big names in the field - the likes of Stephen Harden, Eike Nagel and Valentina Puntmann - contributing as faculty.
We are currently also involved in the national CMR registry, our center being the inaugural site. With a SCMR Level 3 cardiologist at the helm, the CMR service will continue to flourish