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Overview

There are a whole bunch of non-invasive tests available that try to image the internal working of the different organs of a human body. Each of these tests has a specific aim and is suitable for certain type of diagnosis more than others. One of the popular and highly effective tests to image the different organs and their structures is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

MRI can be used to create pictures with a very high degree of details for any part of the body. When this procedure is used to scan and create images of the heart and associated blood vessels, it is called Cardiac MRI. The Cardiac MRI procedure uses extremely strong magnetic fields and radiofrequency waves to create 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional images of the heart.

Since the Cardiac MRI test does not use any radiation as well as it is non-invasive, it is considered one of the safer tests, even during pregnancy although it is not advised in the first trimester. A highly effective procedure, the Cardiac MRI stress test helps your doctor to identify the following:-

  • Heart Valve Defects
  • Congenital Heart problems
  • Extent of damage after a heart attack
  • Heart failure symptoms
  • Pericarditis

 

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Procedure

The Cardiac MRI procedure is completely non-invasive, but you need to take care of the following as it uses extremely strong magnetic fields

  • Inform your doctor if you have any metallic implants (pacemaker, stents, metallic rods, pins, plates or dental implants)
  • Let your doctor know if you are or if you maybe pregnant, especially in your first trimester
  • Remove all your jewellery, braces, dentures, watches, hearing aids etc. before the procedure
  • If you have ever been diagnosed with kidney problems, consult with your doctor
  • Tell your doctor if you have claustrophobia or fear or closed spaces
During the Cardiac MRI procedure, you will be asked to lie down on a metallic bed. This bed is then slid into a machine that looks like a long tube with an arch. The technician will keep talking to you from another room using a microphone and give you instructions during the procedure. You can inform the technician if you are having any trouble during the MRI scan.

The MRI machine makes loud thumping sounds during the Cardiac MRI Procedure. You may be given earplugs or headphones to listen to music while the procedure goes on. The Cardiac MRI test takes anywhere between 30-90 minutes for completion.

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