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.

DURING THE CARDIAC MRI SCAN PERFORMED BY HILL MEDICAL

What will happen during a Cardiac MRI scan?

Cardiac MRI is painless and harmless. You'll lie on your back on a sliding table that goes inside the tunnel-like MRI machine. The technologist will control the machine from the next room. He or she will be able to see you through a glass window and talk to you through a speaker. Tell the technologist if you have a hearing problem.

Electrocardiogram (ECG) leads will be placed on your chest to help the machine image acquisition with the beating of your heart. A respiratory gating belt, a device that helps the computer know how you are breathing at any given time, may be placed around your upper abdomen.

If a contrast material will be used in the MRI exam, a technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your hand or arm. A saline solution may be used. The solution will drip through the IV to prevent blockage of the IV line until the contrast material is injected. You will be positioned on the moveable examination table. Straps and bolsters may be used to help you stay still and maintain the correct position during imaging. Devices that contain coils capable of sending and receiving radio waves may be placed around or adjacent to the area of the body being studied.

It is normal for the area of your body being imaged to feel slightly warm, but if it bothers you, notify the technologist. You will be moved into the magnet of the MRI unit and the radiologist and technologist will leave the room while the MRI examination is performed.

It is important that you remain perfectly still while the images are being recorded, which is typically only a few seconds to a few minutes at a time. For some types of exams, you may be asked to hold your breath. You will know when images are being recorded because you will hear tapping or thumping sounds when the coils that generate the radiofrequency pulses are activated. You will be able to relax between imaging sequences, but will be asked to maintain your position without movement as much as possible.

MRI exams generally include multiple runs (sequences), some of which may last several minutes. The entire examination is usually completed within 60 to 90 minutes once imaging has started.

MR spectroscopy, which provides additional information on the chemicals present in the body's cells, may also be performed during the MRI exam and may add approximately 15 minutes to the exam time.


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