Cardiac MRI at Sky Ridge Medical Center

MRI undoubtedly has a leading role in the diagnosis of complex cardiac morphology.

Cardiac MRI creates pictures of your heart as it's beating, producing both still and moving pictures of your heart and major blood vessels. Doctors use cardiac MRI to get pictures of the beating heart and to look at its structure and function. These pictures can help them decide how to treat people who have heart problems. Cardiac MRI is a common test. It's used to diagnose and evaluate a number of diseases and conditions, including:

  • Coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease
  • Damage caused by a heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve problems
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Pericarditis (a condition in which the membrane, or sac, around your heart is inflamed)
  • Cardiac tumors

Cardiac MRI can help explain results from other tests, such as x rays and CT scans. Sometimes, cardiac MRI is used to avoid the need for invasive procedures or tests that use radiation (such as x rays) or dyes containing iodine (these dyes may be harmful to people who have kidney problems).Often during cardiac MRI, a contrast agent is injected into a vein to highlight portions of the heart or blood vessels. This contrast agent often is used for people who are allergic to the dyes used in CT scanning.

Common Uses of Cardiac MRI

Cardiac MRI imaging is performed to help:

  • Evaluate the structures and function of the heart, valves, major vessels, and surrounding structures (such as the pericardium).
  • Diagnose and manage a variety of cardiovascular problems.
  • Detect and evaluate the effects of coronary artery disease or anomalous arteries
  • Plan a patient's treatment for cardiovascular problems and monitor patient's progress

Using cardiac MRI, doctors can:

  • Examine the size and thickness of the chambers of the heart
  • Determine the extent of damage (scarring and assess viability) caused by a heart attack or progressive heart disease
  • Detect the buildup of plaque and blockages in the blood vessels
  • Assess a patient's recovery following treatment