Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive test that uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of a patient's heart as it is beating. An MRI is an effective tool for mapping the overall heart structure of patients with congenital heart problems.
Doctors at Montefiore use these images to search for tears, aneurysms, the bulging of the aorta and damage caused by a heart attack, among other problems. Some of the diseases and conditions that can be diagnosed and evaluated by an MRI include:
A dilation of a part of the heart muscle or the aorta that may cause weakness of the tissue at the site of the aneurysm.
A gradual clogging of the arteries over many years by fatty materials and other substances in the bloodstream.
An enlargement of the heart due to thickening or weakening of the heart muscle.
A tumor of the heart that may occur on the outside surface of the heart, within one or more chambers of the heart or within the muscle tissue of the heart.
Congenital Heart Disease
A defect in one or more heart structures that occurs during formation of a fetus.
Congestive Heart Failure
A condition in which the heart muscle has become weakened to an extent that blood cannot be pumped efficiently, causing buildup in the blood vessels, lungs, feet, ankles and other parts of the body.
Coronary Artery Disease
A condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, limiting the flow of blood to the heart.
A condition in which the membrane around the heart becomes inflamed.
Valvular Heart Disease
Malfunction of one or more of the heart valves that may cause an obstruction of the blood flow within the heart.
For patients who are potential candidates for coronary artery bypass surgery or angioplasty, an MRI can guide cardiologists to healthy heart tissue. This helps determine if overall function will improve if procedures to increase blood flow to the heart are performed.
Treatment options are then determined based on the results of the MRI.