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  • Writer's pictureDr Woo JW

A Closer Look at Your Heart: What to Expect from a Cardiac MRI

Updated: Mar 6

Navigating the Intricacies of Cardiac Imaging for Better Heart Health

Doctor monitoring a computer screen showing MRI results. A male patient lies down in an MRI machine in the background.

Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which is also known as cardiovascular MRI, is a diagnostic tool that is used to evaluate the structure and function of the cardiovascular system in a non-invasive manner. In this blog post, we will explore the world of Cardiac MRI, including its uses, the procedure involved, and its significance in modern medicine.

A Cardiac MRI is a medical imaging test that uses a combination of magnetic field and radio frequency waves to produce detailed images of the heart and arteries. This test provides high-quality images of the heart's chambers, muscles, and valves, and evaluates how well blood flows through them.

Cardiac MRI is usually recommended for individuals with complex or advanced heart conditions. It can diagnose various heart conditions such as tissue damage from a heart attack, reduced blood flow in the heart muscle, inflammation in the myocardium, heart valve disorders, and many more.

What to Expect

The Cardiac MRI procedure is typically performed in a hospital or an outpatient imaging facility. During the test, you will be asked to lie flat on your back with your arms positioned above your head.

Four monitoring wires will be placed on your chest to synchronise the scan with your heart motion. You will be asked to hold still and briefly hold your breath while images are taken as you are moved through the scanner.

After the procedure, you can usually go home immediately. You may experience some minor side effects such as nausea or dizziness, but these should subside quickly.

Side Effects

Cardiac MRIs are generally safe, but like any medical procedure, they do come with potential side effects and risks. Below are some of the most common risks associated with the procedure:

  1. Allergic Reaction to the Contrast Dye Some people may experience an allergic reaction to the contrast dye used in the procedure. If you have a history of allergies, it's important to inform your healthcare provider before the procedure.

  2. Radiation Exposure Unlike a CT scan, an MRI does not use ionising radiation. It's considered a safer alternative for everyone, including pregnant women.

  3. Nausea, Vomiting, and Dizziness Some patients may experience nausea, vomiting, and dizziness during or after the procedure.

  4. Bleeding or Infection There is a small risk of bleeding or infection at the site of the injection.

  5. Claustrophobia If you are claustrophobic or have a hard time in enclosed spaces, you may feel uncomfortable in the MRI machine. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help with your discomfort.

In conclusion, Cardiac MRI is a powerful tool in the realm of heart health, providing detailed images that can help diagnose a variety of heart conditions. Its non-invasive nature and high-resolution imaging capabilities make it an invaluable resource for both doctors and patients.

As we continue to advance in medical technology, the role of Cardiac MRI in diagnosing, monitoring, and managing heart health will only become more significant. Remember, understanding our heart is the first step towards taking care of it. Stay informed, stay healthy!

At Sunrise Heart Specialist Clinic, Dr. Woo and his team are dedicated to keeping your heart healthy. With years of experience and a passion for heart health, we provide top-notch care tailored to your needs. Book an appointment today and take the first step towards a healthier heart. Your heart doesn’t rest, and neither do we.


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