Benefits of cardiovascular imaging in patient behavior and adherence

  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a leading cause of mortality worldwide, necessitating effective strategies to improve patient outcomes and reduce the burden of CVD-related complications1.
  • Cardiovascular imaging techniques have emerged as a powerful tool not only for accurate diagnosis but also as a catalyst for promoting positive changes in patient behavior and medication adherence2,3.

Impact of cardiac imaging techniques on clinical medicine

Cardiac imaging techniques are important tools used in modern medicine to visualize and evaluate the structure and function of the heart and blood vessels. These non-invasive or minimally invasive imaging techniques provide important information for the diagnosis, treatment planning and monitoring of various cardiovascular diseases4.

Echocardiography enables a direct visual display of the heart, which includes chamber size, length of ventricular wall thickness and structural abnormalities. In the setting of exercise, cardiac function is typically evaluated by stress echocardiography which can detect ischemia in myocardium. Stress echocardiography is carried out while exercising on a treadmill or bicycle for those who can perform this. Patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease are most frequently evaluated using nuclear imaging. Nuclear imaging is capable of diagnosis and risk stratification at the same time, allowing an assessment of myocardial viability prior to revascularization5.

Cardiac computed tomographic (cardiac CT) imaging allows for direct 3D view of coronary vasculature without undergoing invasive procedures such as cardiac catheterization. Another approach could be cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), compared to cardiac CT, the contrast of artery and blood vessels leads to better visualization results in a more precise manner with cardiac MRI5.

These cardiovascular imaging techniques play a pivotal role in diagnosing various heart conditions, aiding in treatment planning, and providing valuable insights into patients’ cardiac health. They are continually evolving and improving, enabling healthcare professionals to better understand and manage cardiovascular diseases, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes.

Transforming patient behavior and adherence through cardiovascular imaging

Cardiovascular techniques play a crucial role in enhancing patient behavior management and adherence to the medication. These techniques focus on improving cardiovascular health through various exercises and interventions. Integrating cardiovascular techniques into patient behavior management can lead to numerous benefits, both physiological and psychological. Some of the benefits include:

  1. Patient motivation: Cardiac imaging results increased therapy approach, and the therapy is directly linked to severity of the test results. Some of the test results or imaging studies directly work on motivating the patient and few studies work on global strategy2.
  2. Long-term health benefits: By adopting cardiovascular techniques, patients can experience long-term health improvements, such as reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, better weight management, and improved overall physical health. Knowing the long-term benefits can motivate patients to adhere to positive behavioral changes6.
  3. Visualizing disease severity: Cardiovascular imaging techniques, such as echocardiography, cardiac MRI, CT angiography, and nuclear imaging, provide detailed images of the heart and blood vessels. These images help patients understand the severity of their condition and the potential consequences of non-adherence to medication. When patients can see the tangible effects of their condition, they are more likely to adhere to their prescribed medications3.
  4. Personalized medicine: Cardiovascular imaging allows physicians to tailor treatment plans based on individual patients’ specific conditions. Medication adherence improves when patients feel that their treatment is personalized and based on their unique needs and risk factors. Imaging results can guide discussions between the patient and the healthcare provider, leading to better-informed decisions and higher adherence rates6.
  5. Pre-detection of complications: Imaging techniques can detect early signs of complications or disease progression. By catching potential issues early, healthcare providers can adjust medications or treatment plans promptly, reducing the risk of severe complications and improving health outcomes6.
  6. Enhancing patient engagement: Promising technological advancements in monitoring and promoting adherence appear to rely universally on patient engagement7.
  7. Patient-centered imaging: Enhancing the quality of patient-centered imaging involves focusing on crucial elements such as safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity. These cardiac interventions can improve medication adherence and can be considered an important part of cardiovascular outcome research8,9.
  8. Lifestyle modifications: In combination with lifestyle changes, cardiovascular imaging can illustrate the positive impact of healthy habits on the heart and blood vessels. Seeing the benefits of lifestyle modifications can reinforce the importance of medication adherence as part of an overall treatment strategy6.

Cardiovascular imaging techniques provide valuable insights into a patient’s condition, help personalize treatment plans, monitor progress, and offer visual feedback to enhance medication adherence. When patients understand their condition, treatment options, and see the positive effects of their medications, they are more likely to comply with their prescribed treatment regimen, leading to improved health outcomes6.

The future of cardiovascular imaging: opportunities and challenges

Significant progress has been made over the last few decades in cardiovascular imaging, which is all to the benefit of better diagnosis, management, and early prevention of cardiovascular disease. Imagining technology usage will continue to grow in future from high-end modern equipment of CT, nuclear, 3D Echocardiographic and molecular imaging to miniaturization of the portable devices. In clinical practice, imaging will continue to be an integral part of cardiovascular medicine. Future imaging technologies must demonstrate value in increasing efficiency with treatment efficacy and patient outcomes. Ultimately, we must find out the most effective ways of disease detection and management with an objective of providing the best care to the patient10,11.


Cardiovascular imaging has emerged as a powerful catalyst for change in both patient behavior and medication adherence. The integration of advanced imaging technologies, such as cardiac MRI, CT angiography, and nuclear medicine, has revolutionized the diagnostic and therapeutic landscape for cardiovascular diseases.

Furthermore, cardiovascular imaging plays a crucial role in enhancing patient-physician communication. Clear visual representations facilitate effective discussions between healthcare providers and patients, fostering a shared decision-making process. Patients become active participants in their treatment plans, leading to greater commitment and compliance with prescribed therapies.

Moreover, advances in imaging technology have improved the overall patient experience. Non-invasive and more comfortable procedures have led to increased acceptance and reduced anxiety, encouraging patients to undergo regular imaging assessments for better disease management.

Helping patient by visualization and comprehend their cardiovascular risk is crucial because it empowers them to make informed decisions about their health. Using a tool specifically designed for this purpose can provide a clear and quantifiable representation of their risk factors, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and lifestyle habits. This visual aid enables patients to grab the potential consequences of their choices and motivates them to adopt healthier habits. It’s a proactive way to promote self-care and disease prevention.

To read more about “Tailor your communication towards your patients with a cardiovascular risk calculator” click here

In conclusion, cardiovascular imaging stands as a transformative force in healthcare, empowering patients to take charge of their cardiovascular health and adhere to prescribed treatments more effectively. Through a combination of personalized visual evidence, improved patient-physician communication, and enhanced disease monitoring, cardiovascular imaging paves the way for improved patient outcomes and a healthier future for individuals at risk of cardiovascular diseases. As technology continues to advance and accessibility improves, the role of cardiovascular imaging in shaping patient behavior and medication adherence is poised to become even more impactful in the years to come.

“Imagine tests alone do not change patient outcomes, but it’s how we act on them that might change them.” – Ron Blankstein


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2. Chandrashekhar Y. Imaging for improving therapy: a stop on the way to improve outcomes? JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. May 2013;6(5):582-6. doi:10.1016/j.jcmg.2013.04.002

3. Kripalani S, Schmotzer B, Jacobson TA. Improving Medication Adherence through Graphically Enhanced Interventions in Coronary Heart Disease (IMAGE-CHD): a randomized controlled trial. J Gen Intern Med. Dec 2012;27(12):1609-17. doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2136-z

4. Stokes MB, Roberts-Thomson R. The role of cardiac imaging in clinical practice. Aust Prescr. Aug 2017;40(4):151-155. doi:10.18773/austprescr.2017.045

5. Rehman R, Yelamanchili VS, Makaryus AN. Cardiac Imaging. StatPearls. 2023.

6. Douglas PS, Cerqueira MD, Berman DS, et al. The Future of Cardiac Imaging: Report of a Think Tank Convened by the American College of Cardiology. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. Oct 2016;9(10):1211-1223. doi:10.1016/j.jcmg.2016.02.027

7. Levy AE, Huang C, Huang A, Michael Ho P. Recent Approaches to Improve Medication Adherence in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease: Progress Towards a Learning Healthcare System. Curr Atheroscler Rep. Jan 24 2018;20(1):5. doi:10.1007/s11883-018-0707-0

8. Einstein AJ, Berman DS, Min JK, et al. Patient-centered imaging: shared decision making for cardiac imaging procedures with exposure to ionizing radiation. J Am Coll Cardiol. Apr 22 2014;63(15):1480-9. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2013.10.092

9. Ho PM, Bryson CL, Rumsfeld JS. Medication adherence: its importance in cardiovascular outcomes. Circulation. Jun 16 2009;119(23):3028-35. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.768986

10. Zoghbi WA. Cardiovascular imaging: a glimpse into the future. Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. Jul-Sep 2014;10(3):139-45. doi:10.14797/mdcj-10-3-139

11. Braga JR, Leong-Poi H, Rac VE, Austin PC, Ross HJ, Lee DS. Trends in the Use of Cardiac Imaging for Patients With Heart Failure in Canada. JAMA Netw Open. Aug 2 2019;2(8):e198766. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.8766