Scan of the heart with a high field MRI
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart – this is a diagnostic scan that utilises a magnetic field for obtaining the image and enables the physician to assess the anatomy of different parts of the heart (heart chambers, heart valves) and major blood vessels.
An MRI enables the physician to diagnose conditions such as congenital heart defects and inflammatory heart diseases, tumours located in the heart, as well as diseases of the pericardium. An MRI is sometimes used to assess heart structures prior to treatment procedures – for example, before ablation therapy of arrhythmias.
An MRI allows for the assessment cardiac function (for example, post-infarction or before a scheduled coronary shunting surgery). The test lasts from 15 to 60 minutes. A powerful magnetic field, instead of x-rays, is used to obtain still and moving images. Many diseases become visible after the contrast agent is injected into the vein. Since the primarily used contrast agent, gadolinium, does not contain iodine, the test is also suitable for people with an iodine allergy.
Metal objects or mechanical equipment must not be brought into the test room. For patients with pacemakers, a so-called adaptive treatment of the pacemaker will be performed – this means that the pacemaker will be switched to an operating mode that is compatible for an MRI scan, and the earlier operating mode will be reinstated after the scan.
In the case of other foreign metal bodies in the organism, an MRI is contraindicated in the following cases: joint prostheses, bone fracture fixation plates, clips, orthodontic braces, and metal heart prostheses.
A referral is required for performing the scan (also for a paid scan).
Always specify potential MRI contraindications with your examining physician!