What Is Cardiac MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe,
noninvasive test that creates detailed images of your organs and tissues.
Noninvasive means that no surgery is done and no instruments are
inserted into your body.
MRI uses radio waves and magnets to create images of
your organs and tissues. Unlike computed tomography (to-MOG-ra-fee) scans (also
called CT scans) or conventional x rays, MRI imaging doesnt use ionizing
radiation or carry any risk of causing cancer.
Cardiac MRI uses a computer to create images of your
heart as its beating, producing both still and moving pictures of your
heart and major blood vessels. Doctors use cardiac MRI to get images of the
beating heart and to look at the structure and function of the heart. These
images can help them decide how best to treat patients with heart problems.
Cardiac MRI is a common test for diagnosing and
evaluating a number of diseases and conditions, including:
Cardiac MRI images can help explain results from
other tests, such as x ray and CT scans. Cardiac MRI is sometimes used to avoid
the need for other tests that use radiation (such as x rays), invasive
procedures, and dyes containing iodine (these dyes may be harmful to people who
have kidney problems).
Sometimes during cardiac MRI, a special dye is
injected into a vein to help highlight the heart or blood vessels on the
images. Unlike the case with x rays, the special dyes used for MRI dont
contain iodine, so they dont present a risk to people who are allergic to
iodine or have kidney problems.