Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive cardiac imaging process that uses radio waves, magnets and a computer to create pictures of the heart. Eliminating exposure to potentially harmful radiation is a key advantage of a cardiac MRI over other heart imaging techniques, ensuring a safer experience.
Images are captured using a powerful magnet, allowing detailed assessment of a variety of cardiac conditions. Cardiac MRI is unique in that the image quality is not limited by body physique. This revolutionary technology allows physicians to see details in heart anatomy and physiology that lead to improved diagnosis and treatment.
Our cardiac imaging department at Houston Methodist has taken the lead in cardiovascular MRI by offering patients a higher level of treatment with quality resources and advanced equipment, which includes the leading-edge Siemens Sonata and Avanto MRI scanners.
Cardiac MRI Procedure
Often the MRI requires contrast material, which is a fluid that allows the heart and blood vessels to show up more clearly in the report. A special contrasting dye is injected prior to the test.
The patient is placed on a movable examination table and positioned in the MRI unit. The technician goes into an adjacent room and communicates with the patient through a two-way intercom. The machine then takes a series of images. The entire exam is usually completed in about 30 minutes.
A radiologist analyzes the images and sends a signed report to the cardiologist, who shares the results with the patient.