What Is Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?
Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a strong magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer to produce detailed images of the structures in and around the heart. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is used to detect and monitor heart disease and to assess the anatomy and function of the heart in patients with heart disease at birth and heart disease that develops after birth.
Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging does not use ionizing radiation to produce images and may provide better images of the heart in certain situations. Tell your doctor about any health problems, recent surgeries, or allergies and whether there is a possibility that you could be pregnant. The attractive field isn’t destructive, yet it might make some clinical gadgets breakdown.
Most bone transplants do not pose any risk, but you should always tell the cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technician if you have any devices or metal in your body. Instructions for eating and drinking before the test vary between facilities. Unless told otherwise, take your regular medications as normal. Leave all adornments at home and wear-free, open to apparel. You may be required to wear a hospital gown during the examination. If you have claustrophobia or anxiety, you may want to ask your doctor to take a mild sedative before the exam.
What is an MRI of the heart?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that uses a large magnet, radio signals, and a computer to make images of the body’s organs and tissues. In this case, imaging of the heart is performed. The MRI machine is large and tube-shaped. It makes a solid attractive field around the body. Some MRI machines are more open.
The magnetic field lines up hydrogen protons in your body. Radio waves eject the protons out of position. When they rearrange them to the correct position, they send out radio signals. The computer receives the signals and turns them into images of the body. This image appears on the display screen. Magnetic resonance imaging may be used in place of a CT scan when studying organs or soft tissues.
For what reason do individuals have MRI checks for heart issues?
Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can enable your PCP to analyze various heart conditions, including:
- Tissue damage from a heart attack
- Reduced blood flow to the heart muscle to help determine whether a blocked heart artery is the cause of chest pain (angina)
- Problems with the aorta: The main artery of the heart – such as a tear, aneurysm (bulge), or narrow
- Diseases of the pericardium (the outer lining of the heart muscle) such as constrictive pericarditis
- Heart muscle disease, such as heart failure or an enlarged heart, and abnormal growths, such as cancerous tumors
- Heart valve disorders, such as regurgitation
- Congenital heart problems and the success of the surgical repair
MRI may be used in place of other tests that use ionizing radiation or contrast dyes containing iodine, or both, such as X-rays, angiography, and computerized tomography (CT) scans. The use of an MRI to examine blood vessels and how blood flows through them is called magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). Unlike conventional X-ray angiography, this procedure does not require catheter insertion into the arteries. MRI techniques may also be used to measure heart function or how much blood the left ventricle can pump to the body.
How to prepare for Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging?
Prior to the test, tell your PCP in the event that you have a pacemaker. Depending on the type of pacemaker, your doctor may suggest another testing method, such as an abdominal CT scan. However, some pacemaker models can be reprogrammed prior to the cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) so that they are not disrupted during the scan.
Since cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnets, it can attract metals. You should alert your doctor if you have had any type of metal implants from previous surgeries. These may include:
- Artificial heart valves
Your primary care physician may need to utilize an uncommon colour to feature your heart. This dye is a gadolinium-based contrast agent that is administered intravenously. It differs from the dye used during a CT scan. Allergic reactions to the dye are rare. However, you should tell your doctor before giving an IV if you have had any concerns or a history of allergic reactions in the past.
What happens during cardiac magnetic resonance imaging?
Usually, a radiologist or an MRI technician will perform the examination in a hospital, clinic, or imaging centre, using special equipment.
- You will lie on a movable table that slides inside the MRI machine. The machine looks like a long metal tube.
- Depending on which part of your body is to be scanned, a small coil may be placed over that part of the body to send the radio waves and receive the MRI signal.
- Your technician will be watching you from another room. You can talk to him or her with a microphone. In some cases, a friend or family member may stay in the room with you.
- The MRI machine will create a strong magnetic field around you, and the radio waves will be directed to the area of your body to be imaged. You will not feel the magnetic field or radio waves.
- During an MRI scan, the magnet makes clicking, squeaking, and other noises. You may be given earplugs or you can listen to music with headphones to help block out the noise.
- In some cases, you may have an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or arm to inject a contrast agent into your veins (for MRA). The contrast agent produces better images of tissues and blood vessels. It does not contain iodine and is less likely to cause an allergic reaction compared to agents used in computed tomography (CT).
- The MRI scan takes between 30 and 90 minutes.
You will need to lie still during the exam because the movement can blur your body images. If you are not comfortable in confined spaces, tell your doctor before the test. You can get a sedative to help you stay calm. Some clinics have machines with shorter magnets or wider openings to make you more comfortable.
After a Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
After the cardiac magnetic resonance imaging test, you should be able to drive yourself home, unless you have been given anti-anxiety or sedative medication. It may take your doctor some time to review and interpret the images.
Initial results from a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of your heart may be available in a few days. However, overall results may take up to a week or more. When results are available, your doctor will review them with you and discuss any follow-up steps you should take.
Who deciphers the outcomes and how would I get them?
A radiologist, a doctor trained in supervising and interpreting imaging scans, analyzes the images. The radiologist will send a marked report to your essential consideration or alluding doctor, who will impart the outcomes to you.
Follow-up examinations may be required. If so, your doctor will explain why. Sometimes, follow-up testing is done because the potential anomaly needs further evaluation with additional perspectives or a special imaging technique. A follow-up test may also be done to see if there is any change in the abnormal condition over time. Sometimes follow-up checks are the best way to find out if treatment has been successful or if the abnormal condition is stable or has changed.
What are the risks of MRI scans?
Mainly about implanted devices and metalworking (see above). Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans use a very strong magnetic field that can move iron-containing objects with great force. That is why it is important to tell us about any metal objects in your body. If you are not sure, we can have an X-ray.
There are potential risks about the contrast agent (dye) sometimes used, but this only happens if you have kidney problems, as your kidneys need to remove the dye from your body. So you will have a blood test for kidney function before the scan. In patients with severe kidney problems, they usually reduce or completely avoid the dose.