This test uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of the heart and surrounding blood vessels before and after contrast.
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of the heart uses magnets and radio waves to make detailed images of your heart and surrounding blood vessels.
The images show the size and shape of the structures in your heart.
They also show the blood vessels that go to and from your heart.
The images are done before and after a dye is put into a vein in your arm or hand.
The dye helps to highlight the structures in your heart so they can be seen better.
Your healthcare provider may order an MRI of your heart to:
Evaluate problems with your heart
Determine how well your heart is functioning
Follow up on abnormal echo or heart CT scan
Check for damage to the heart after a heart attack
Evaluate heart tumors or birth defects
Assess symptoms associated with a weak heart (such as heart failure)
MRI machines use powerful magnets, so tell your health care provider if you have any metal or medical devices in your body.
You must lie still during the exam, because moving could blur the images.
You will be given a contrast dye through a line in a vein in your arm or hand. The dye may cause you to feel flushed or to have a bad taste in your mouth for a short time.
If you are pregnant and your health care provider feels an MRI would give helpful information, he or she may order this test. Be sure to talk about the benefits and risks of the test with your health care provider.
An MRI can take up to an hour, but newer machines may be much faster.
The costs for this test include the charge for the test (facility charge) and physician charges (for performing or interpreting the test). You may get separate bills from the facility and the physician's office.
What should I ask my health care provider before having this test?
Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
What is my diagnosis and the reason for the test? Are the test results likely to change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?
Do I need to have the test without and with dye? If I do, should I be concerned if I have allergies?
Are there any less expensive, but effective, alternatives to my getting this test?
Remind your health care provider if there are any metal(s) or medical device(s) in your body.
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