Cardiac MRI

This is a test that uses an MRI (magnetic resonance) machine to make detailed images of the heart. It does not involve radiation at all. Cardiac MRI gives superior image quality of the moving heart when compared to echo (ultrasound) and CT. Additionally, cardiac MRI provides excellent characterisation of heart tissue, this means that it is able to identify areas of fibrosis (scar) or oedema (inflammation) that are not visualised well with other modalities.

You will be required to remove all metal from your body (including watches, earrings, necklaces and even your bra). You will be asked to lie on a bed that slowly moves into a narrow MRI tube. Your body will not move entirely inside the tube (legs are outside). You will be given some earphones to hear the breathing instructions (and sometimes music upon request). The MRI machine will take images of your heart, but does require your participation with short breath holding, and is a little noisy at times. The test usually takes about 30 minutes.

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