Cardiac MRI and MRA
Cardiac MRI uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide detailed images of the chambers of the heart and valve function, which can be viewed, saved and transmitted via computer. The images provide valuable information about the anatomy, size, and function of the heart’s chambers and valves and about the type and severity of heart damage or disease.
Cardiac MRI is superior to other imaging modalities for early diagnosis of certain conditions, including coronary heart disease, congenital heart defects, heart valve problems, pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the heart), cardiac tumors, infection, and damage from heart attack. It can also provide guidance during other procedures. The MRI itself is noninvasive, painless, and safe; it does not use radiation and requires no preparation. Cardiac MRI is used with or without a contrast dye, which requires intravenous injection of the contrast material when used. In the latter case, the patient will require intravenous injection of the contrast material.
Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide images of blood vessels inside the body, allowing the physician to assess blood flow and the condition of blood vessel walls. MRA is used to look for aneurysms, clots, aneurysms or tears in the aorta, arteriovenous malformations, and stenosis caused by plaque in the carotid arteries (neck) or blood vessels leading to the lungs, kidneys, or legs. The MRA itself is noninvasive, painless, and safe; it does not use radiation and requires no preparation. Like cardiac MRI, it may be done with or without use of a contrast dye and can provide guidance during other procedures.