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Ron Jacob, M.D., recently spoke at the Indian Association of Cardiac Imaging conference.

Ron Jacob, M.D., hopes to increase utilization of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CMR) -- both locally and globally.

Dr. Jacob, director of The Heart Group’s cardiac MRI program, serves on the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance’s International Outreach Committee.

The committee works to increase and improve the use of CMR globally. The society currently helps to organize and facilitate conferences in China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. Dr. Jacob attended high school, college and medical school in India, and his parents still live there.

“For me it’s moving the field forward and serving the community,” said Dr. Jacob, who helped to coordinate the most recent conference in India. He was one of three invited speakers from the United States at the Indian Association of Cardiac Imaging conference this year.

“It’s a way to give back.”

Dr. Jacob completed a fellowship in cardiac imaging at The Cleveland Clinic before coming to Lancaster to establish The Heart Group’s program. CMR offers detailed information about a patient’s cardiovascular system, without radiation or iodine-based contrast agents, which would be a concern with CT, he said.

“CMR requires specialized expertise and equipment, and it’s essential for any good cardiac program,” Dr. Jacob said. “Cardiac MRI is a key to successful diagnosis and treatment of several conditions, especially in ascertaining the cause and prognosis in patients with Congestive Cardiac failure.”

Lancaster General Hospital performs two to five cardiac MRIs per day – more than some university hospitals – making it one of the busiest community hospitals in Pennsylvania to utilize the technology, he said.

“CMR is a unique fusion of anatomy and physiology,” Dr. Jacob said. “Looking at the images gives us very sophisticated information that can greatly influence clinical decision-making and management strategies.”

CMR and similar state-of-the-art tests provide physicians with complementary information regarding what is going on with patients who have heart failure, coronary disease or other conditions before a procedure is done, he said.

Because of the impact on decision-making and outcomes, it’s important to pick the right tests for the right patient, Dr. Jacob said. Experts know what specific information and other benefits each modality offers and when each should be ordered.

“It is important to frame the problem in terms of ‘What is your clinical question?’ instead of which test to order,” he said. “Depending on the clinical condition, it may be one test, or it may be four tests.”

Dr. Jacob expects continued growth in the technology and philosophy behind “patient-centered imaging.” He hopes to continue bringing new technology and equipment to Lancaster, including T1 mapping, T2 mapping and 4-D Flows.

During Dr. Jacob’s training, some questioned his desire to focus on such a specialized field.

But, he said, “You have to do what you love.”

  • Dr. Jacob welcomes questions from fellow providers through LG Health email.

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