MRI scan of the Heart

What does the MRI of the Heart show?

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is widely used radiology examination. This imaging technique uses principles of magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to create detailed images of the body structures. Your doctor can use an MRI of the heart to diagnose you or to see how well you have responded to treatment.

Cardiac MRI allows the doctors to see the structure and the function of the heart in great detail. Based on this examination they can reveal various heart diseases:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Chronic or acute heart failure
  • Heart valve diseases
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Pericarditis and other inflammatory conditions
  • Cardiac tumors

Your doctor may use the MRI of the heart to detect or monitor:

  • the anatomy and function of the heart chambers, valves, size and blood flow through the great arteries
  • the effects of coronary artery disease such as limited blood flow to the heart muscle and scarring within the heart muscle after a heart attack.
  • planning a patient’s treatment for cardiovascular diseases
  • the progression of patient’s condition
  • the post-surgical period in patients with congenital heart disease

In most cases, you may get also a contrast agent administered through the intravenous line. MRI of the heart with contrast is important to reveal any scar of the cardiac muscle from the previous heart attack or any viral infection. To read more about how does the contrast agent work click here.

How is the MRI of the heart performed?

The whole examination usually takes about 35-45 minutes. During the examination, the team of specialists will communicate with you through the microphone. You will be asked to breathe in, breathe out or to hold his breath in a various stage of the exam. It is very important to follow the instructions and to lie very still.

Patients do not have problems with implanted coronary stents, however, those with the pacemaker are usually not scanned. Click here for more information.

Do you know how to prepare yourself for your MRI of the heart? Read this article to be ready.

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