Cardiac MRI

Heart: Cardiac Imaging for a Healthy HeartMRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses a large magnet and radiofrequency waves to produce high-quality images of the heart. Cardiac MRI is rapidly becoming important in the diagnosis and management of a wide variety of cardiac patients. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (X-rays) or iodinated contrast agents, is non-invasive and provides unparalleled image quality.

Using MRI, physicians can obtain images of the heart and blood vessels from different angles and create moving images of the heart throughout its beating cycle. This allows for better assessment of complex cardiovascular anatomy compared to other imaging techniques. Cardiac MRI provides accurate assessments of ventricular function, cardiac masses, valvular function, congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and characterization of aorta and other blood vessels and is becoming recognized as the "gold standard" for myocardial viability.

Cardiac MRI patient with nurseCardiac MRI can help in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with following conditions:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Pericardial disease
  • Cardiac masses and thrombi
  • Arrhythmia
  • Aortic disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Valve disease

««return to top

Contraindications
We generally cannot scan patients if any of the following contraindications are present. All patients with metallic implants are individually evaluated prior to MRI.

  • Central nervous system aneurysm clips
  • Implanted neural stimulator
  • Implanted cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator
  • Cochlear implant
  • Ocular foreign body (e.g., metal shavings)
  • Other implanted medical devices (e.g., drug infusion ports)
  • Insulin pump
  • Metal shrapnel or bullet
  • Pregnant women (patients who are uncertain whether or not they are pregnant will be required to have a screening test)

Cardiac MRI is safe with coronary stents, joint replacements, patent foramen ovale (PFO) and atrial septal defect (ASD) closure devices, sternal wires and most prosthetic heart valves.

««return to top

«« Return to Cardiac Imaging Procedures Main Page