MRI of the heart and coronary vessels: what shows?


MRI of the heart and coronary vessels is a costly but highly informative non-invasive method of examination of the cardiovascular system. Natural contrast in this study can be considered the blood that circulates through the network of arteries and veins. When using paramagnetic contrast agents it is possible to do magnetic resonance angiography to study the perfusion and the condition of the heart muscle.

When you need a survey?

  1. Clarification of doubtful results of Echocardiography.
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging can replace the multi-spiral computed tomography in cases of pathology of the major blood vessels, congenital malformations, aneurysms of the coronary arteries. And magnetic resonance angiography can replace CT if you want to detect occlusion of the aortic or venous coronary bypass grafts, although inferior in diagnostic value of multislice computed tomography.
  3. Detection of tumors of the cardiovascular system.
  4. Apical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  5. Determination of the parameters of viability of heart muscle after the disease (e.g., heart attack), his ability to perfusion.
  6. Scarring after a heart attack.
  7. Congenital heart defects that are not detected by other methods.
  8. To estimate the mass of the heart, contractility of muscles, the calculation of the volume of the ventricles.
  9. Evaluation of changes after a heart attack.
  10. You can see areas of infarction, ischemia of healthy tissue.
  11. Obtaining the necessary data for the operation.

When MRI cannot be done and what are the exceptions to the rule?

Absolute contraindications are metallic objects in the body of the subject. Surgical staples and clips, if they are not in the brain tissue, danger to the patient on the MRI is not present. As for any other metallic objects in the patient’s body, in addition to those indicated above, each case is evaluated separately. Doing an MRI is permitted in the case where the minimal risk offset foreign metal objects in the patient’s body and is not expected violations of their work as a result of heating.

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Cardiac MRI is the «gold standard» impact evaluation of the weight of the heart muscle, the volume of ventricles and Atria and ejection fraction. MRI in the diagnosis of valvular and congenital heart defects are not inferior in quality to Echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart). Besides, his results, unlike ultrasound is not exposed to ultrasound «window». Many people wonder: if Echo is better, then why do we need to appoint an expensive survey method as an MRI? Echocardiography is ultrasound of the heart, blood vessels and valves. Unlike MRI, ultrasound has no contraindications, only cases where the study can be difficult. Echo works well in acute myocardial infarction, to confirm the diagnosis in a patient with continuous pain in a breast. MRI is assigned in the case where a single ultrasound is not enough when you need a more accurate diagnosis. Moreover, with ultrasound there is the human factor that may influence the results.

It is necessary to tell about another method of diagnosis using MRI is magnetic resonance angiography. Checking the coronary arteries with contrast enhancement is used to diagnose diseases of the arteries. It is better than the other methods shows atheromatous changes, narrowing of the vascular wall, ischemia and hypoxia of cardiac muscle, thrombosis of the coronary arteries.