Open MRI

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We are proud to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging services in Pasadena and Glendora, California, and surrounding counties.

AFTER THE CARDIAC MRI PERFORMED BY HILL MEDICAL

Are there any side effects to a Cardiac MRI exam?

When the examination is completed, you may be asked to wait until the technologist or radiologist checks the images in case additional images are needed.

Your intravenous line will be removed.

If you have not been sedated, no recovery period is necessary. You may resume your usual activities and normal diet immediately after the exam. A few patients experience side effects from the contrast material, including nausea and local pain. Very rarely, patients are allergic to the contrast material and experience hives, itchy eyes or other reactions. If you experience allergic symptoms, notify the technologist. A radiologist or other physician will be available for immediate assistance.

Manufacturers of intravenous contrast indicate mothers should not breastfeed their babies for 24-48 hours after contrast medium is given.

When will I get the Cardiac MRI results and how?

In general, MRI results are available to your referring physician within 24 hours. With our new secure online web viewer, your physician can have instant access to your results!

What are the benefits vs. risks?

Benefits

  • MRI is a noninvasive imaging technique that does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • MRI images of the heart are generally clearer than with some other imaging methods for certain conditions. This advantage makes MRI an invaluable tool in early diagnosis and evaluation of certain cardiac abnormalities, especially those involving the heart muscle.
  • MRI has proven valuable in diagnosing a broad range of conditions, including cardiac anatomical anomalies (e.g., congenital defects), functional abnormalities (e.g., valve failure), tumors and conditions related to decreased blood flow.
  • MRI can help physicians evaluate both the structure of an organ and how it is working.
  • MRI enables the discovery of abnormalities that might be obscured by bone with other imaging methods.
  • The contrast material used in MRI exams is less likely to produce an allergic reaction than the iodine-based contrast materials used for conventional x-rays and CT scanning.
  • Cardiac MRI allows physicians to examine the structures and function of the heart and major vessels without risks like exposure to radiation typically associated with traditional, more invasive procedures.

Risks

  • The MRI examination poses almost no risk to the average patient when appropriate safety guidelines are followed.
  • If sedation is used there are risks of excessive sedation. The technologist or nurse monitors your vital signs to minimize this risk.
  • Although the strong magnetic field is not harmful in itself, implanted medical devices that contain metal may malfunction or cause problems during an MRI exam.
  • There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected. Such reactions usually are mild and easily controlled by medication. If you experience allergic symptoms, a radiologist or other physician will be available for immediate assistance.
  • Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is currently a recognized, but rare, complication of MRI believed to be caused by the injection of high doses of gadolinium contrast material in patients with very poor kidney function.

What are the limitations of a Cardiac MRI?

High-quality images are assured only if you are able to remain perfectly still or hold your breath, if requested to do so, while the images are being recorded. If you are anxious, confused or in severe pain, you may find it difficult to lie still during imaging.

A person who is very large may not fit into the opening of a conventional MRI machine.

The presence of an implant or other metallic object sometimes makes it difficult to obtain clear images. Patient movement can have the same effect.


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