MRI Cardiac (Heart)

What is it?

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the heart does not use X-ray radiation. It instead uses a powerful magnetic system to make images of the heart and its blood vessels. It can create dozens or sometimes hundreds of images in a short time. It is sometimes done in conjunction with a chest MRI. A heart MRI can identify and check tumors, growths, heart muscle, birth defects and heart failure.

What is it for?

It is sometimes done in conjunction with a chest MRI. A heart MRI can identify and check tumors, growths, heart muscle, birth defects and heart failure.

It can evaluate conditions that also include:

  • Aneurysms of the heart
  • Clogged heart arteries
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • An enlarged heart
  • Heart valve disease

How to prepare

  • Talk to your health care provider about your medical history, current medical condition, medicines you are taking and any allergies you have
  • You will be asked if you have any implanted medical devices. Implanted medical devices can malfunction or cause problems during an MRI.
  • You will be given instructions about what to eat and drink prior to an MRI

Risks

  • An allergic reaction may occur from the use of a contrast material (dye)
  • The strong magnetic fields can cause pacemakers and other implants to malfunction
  • Metal inside your body may be moved or shifted slightly because of the magnetic fields
  • An MRI is not recommended if you are pregnant, as it can cause a harmful increase in the temperature of the amniotic fluid

What happens during?

  • You may be given a sedative to help you relax
  • If a contrast material is used, an I.V. will be started in your hand or arm. Contrast material assists in seeing precise imaging pictures.
  • You may feel some discomfort or a cold feeling at the I.V. site where the contrast material is injected
  • You will lie on a movable table that slides into the MRI machine
  • Pillows or straps will be used to keep you still. Limiting your movement is important to getting the most precise images.
  • The technologist is in a separate room but you will be in sight of the technologist and be able to communicate.
  • Once the scan is completed, the table will be moved from the MRI machine

What happens after?

  • If sedatives were used to help you relax, you will be required to rest until the sedatives have worn off
  • You will be checked for an allergic reaction from the contrast material
  • You can usually resume your normal diet and activities after returning home

Side effects

  • You should notify your health care provider if there is any pain, redness or swelling at the I.V. site. This could be an infection caused by the I.V.

If you would like to schedule an imaging exam, please schedule online or call (855) 269-4333. To find an imaging center near you, please view our locations.