Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Cardiac MRI
Cardiac MRI uses high-strength magnetic energy and radio waves to produce cross-sectional images or "slices" of the heart. A radiation-free technique that can create both still and moving images, cardiac MRI can be used to evaluate the anatomy and function of the heart, valves and vessels, as well as characteristics of the heart tissue itself.
A related technique known as magnetic resonance angiogram is used to provide imaging of the blood vessels without the need for an invasive cardiac catheterization procedure.
UC San Diego Health System is a regional leader in cardiac MRI technology, with four 1.5 Tesla scanners available for regular diagnostics and testing as well as for Emergency Department patients. After a heart attack, cardiac MRI can be used to immediately determine the extent of tissue damage and lead to treatment to reduce permanent damage. Using MRI can help the cardiologist or heart surgeon determine the best course of treatment to improve blood flow to the heart, such as bypass surgery or stenting.
Improved MRI Designs
New, “friendlier” MRI designs are now available to make patients more comfortable and to reduce anxiety or claustrophobia during exams. The new MRIs are wider and shorter than the traditional design. In addition to our superior equipment, our facilities feature physicians who specialize in reading and interpreting cardiac MRI and collaborate on treatment plans with surgeons and other physicians.
Specific Applications of Cardiac MRI
Cardiac MRI is especially useful for diagnosing and evaluating::