Cardiac MRI

Cardiac MRI

For Appointments, Call 866.596.8456. 

For Copies of Images or Radiologist Reports, Call 845.368.5000 (ext.) 6120.

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cardiac MRI) produces detailed images of the beating heart. The test can help doctors study the structure and function of heart muscle, find the cause of a patient's heart failure or identify tissue damage due to a heart attack. Cardiac MRI is the most accurate test for calculating the patient’s overall heart function including ejection fraction, a measurement of the percentage of blood pumped out of the heart each time it contracts.

At Good Samaritan Hospital, our patients have access to the latest MRI technology and the advanced expertise of our cardiologists who interpret the MRI results. Our physicians have experience safely performing MRI tests on patients with implanted defibrillators or pacemakers.

The noninvasive test does not use X-rays or radiation, but rather relies upon a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to create a series of images of the heart and its surrounding blood vessels.

Some cardiac MRI patients will receive an injection of a contrast medium or dye through a vein before the scan to improve the ability of the MRI machine to capture more detailed images of tissues. Cardiac MRI also is used to predict how the heart will respond to treatments for coronary artery disease, such as coronary artery bypass surgery or angioplasty.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a technique that allows doctors to see inside the human body in remarkable detail without using radiation. Instead, MRI uses a powerful magnet, radio waves and a sophisticated computer system. This scan will provide your doctor with important information on certain types of body tissue (internal organs, joints, brain and spine) differently than an x-ray or a computed tomography (CT) scan. 

How do I prepare for my MRI scan? 
Very little preparation is required for an MRI scan. You will be asked to remove all metallic items such as watches, jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, and hearing aids and change into a patient gown. A personal locker will be provided for safe-keeping of valuables. Certain exams may require a short period of fasting prior to imaging. If so, you will be made aware of this when you book your appointment. 

Will I receive intravenous injections?
For some procedures, it may be necessary to inject contrast material, which enables radiologists to see specific areas of your body more clearly. If you will be receiving contrast, a nurse will place an IV prior to your exam. 

What can I expect during the MRI scan? 
Upon arriving in the Radiology Department, you will be greeted by a receptionist and asked a series of questions. Once in the scan room, you will be asked to lie on a padded table. During the scan, it is important to hold very still, as movement will cause blurring of the pictures. Throughout the examination, you will be able to speak to the technologist via an intercom. When the scanner is operating, you will hear a loud thumping noise and may feel a slight vibration. This is normal. 

How long will the MRI scan take?
Each MRI scan is different. However, most scans take between 30 and 60 minutes (per exam). 

What will happen following my MRI scan?
Immediately following the scan, you may resume normal activities, diet and medications. 

How do I find out the results of my MRI scan?
Your MRI will be reviewed by a Radiologist. The Radiologist will send a report to your physician. 

MRI Concerns 

Not everyone is able to undergo an MRI as the technology can conflict with certain conditions. In some cases, testing can go forward, but may require certain protocols to ensure your health and safety. 

Both you and your physician should be aware of the following conditions which may affect an MRI. Be sure to inform the facility of any of the following when you call to schedule your appointment: 

• Pacemakers 
• Stent insertion within the last six weeks 
• Metallic foreign bodies (artificial joints, metallic valves, etc.) 

Special Circumstances 
If your doctor orders mild sedation to assist with conditions such as claustrophobia, you must be accompanied by a person who will drive you home.