Heart magnetic resonance imaging is an imaging method that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the heart. It does not use radiation (x-rays).
Single magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images are called slices. The images can be stored on a computer or printed on film. One exam produces dozens or sometimes hundreds of images.
The test may be done as part of a chest MRI.
Magnetic resonance imaging - cardiac; Magnetic resonance imaging - heart; Nuclear magnetic resonance - cardiac; NMR - cardiac; MRI of the heart; Cardiomyopathy - MRI; Heart failure - MRI; Congenital heart disease - MRI
How the Test is Performed
You may be asked to wear a hospital gown or clothing without metal fasteners (such as sweatpants and a t-shirt). Some types of metal can cause blurry images or be attracted to the powerful magnet.
You will lie on a narrow table, which slides into a large tunnel-like tube.
Some exams require a special dye (contrast). The dye is most often given before the test through a vein (IV) in your hand or forearm. The dye helps the radiologist see certain areas more clearly. This is different from the dye used for a CT scan.
During the MRI, the person who operates the machine will watch you from another room. The test most often lasts 30 to 60 minutes, but may take longer.