Dr. Bittencourt Specializes in Advanced Cardiac Imaging at UPMC

April 14, 2022

The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute is home to internationally recognized experts that use state-of-the-art technology to evaluate, diagnose, and treat a broad spectrum of cardiovascular diseases. We offer traditional and novel cardiac imaging services like echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and coronary CT angiography with the goal of increasing satisfaction, shortening hospital stays, and improving outcomes for patients. 

Marcio Bittencourt, MDMárcio Sommer Bittencourt, MD, PhD, MPH, has extensive experience with cardiac imaging. He joined the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute in August 2021 as director of Computed Tomographic Angiography and holds an appointment as associate professor of medicine and radiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. 

The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offers advanced cardiac imaging techniques to evaluate the pericardium, pulmonary veins, and coronary arteries, in addition to determining proper care for patients with complex heart valve disease and electrophysiological cardiac conditions. 

Innovative Cardiac Scanning Technology

Dr. Bittencourt has authored more than 200 peer reviewed manuscripts, articles, and case reports on cardiac health. Recently, in collaboration with researchers from across the United States, he co-authored the paper, “Long-Term Prognostic Implications and Role of Further Testing in Adults Aged ≤55 Years With a Coronary Calcium Score of Zero (from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis).” 

The coronary artery calcium score (CAC) is a form of advanced cardiac imaging used to evaluate narrowing of the coronary arteries. Published in the American Journal of Cardiology, this study demonstrates that a CAC of zero indicates a favorable long-term prognosis for cardiac events in younger adults (aged 55 and younger) with no major risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD).1 

CAC is just one critical assessment utilized at UPMC to determine risk and early preventive intervention for cardiovascular disease. In collaboration with the Department of Radiology, the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute is equipped with state-of-the-art cardiac scanning technology that minimizes the use of iodine contrast and radiation exposure. Our GE Revolution Scanner has 256 detector rows and covers a 16-cm-wide area, which reduces step artifacts and image acquisition time. The 0.25 second gantry rotation time further assures high quality scans. 

This innovative technology, combined with high volumes of cardiac imaging and partnership with our radiology colleagues, allows UPMC cardiovascular experts to efficiently diagnose, evaluate, and treat cardiovascular diseases. 

Email heartandvascular@upmc.edu for more information about our cardiac imaging services or to refer a patient. 

About Dr. Bittencourt 

Prior to joining the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, Dr. Bittencourt was an associate professor of medicine at Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (Albert Einstein Israeli Institute of Teaching and Research) and founding director of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography at University Hospital, University of São Paulo in Brazil. He currently serves as associate editor of Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging; Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia; and Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. He is also part of the board of directors of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.

Dr. Bittencourt received his medical degree from Parana’s Federal University in Brazil. He has served as an internal medicine resident at the University of São Paulo Medical School at Ribeirao Preto, a clinical cardiology fellow at the Heart Institute at the University of São Paulo Medical School, and a cardiovascular imaging research fellow at Harvard University.

Reference

1. Cainzo-Achirica, Miguel; Acquah, Isaac; Dardari, et al. Long-Term Prognostic Implications and Role of Further Testing in Adults Aged ≤55 Years With a Coronary Calcium Score of Zero (from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. American Journal of Cardiology. 2021; 161: 26-35.