Heart MRI (Cardiac MRI)
Are you looking for information on cardiac MRI and specialists for carrying out the examination? On our website, you will find exclusively experienced specialists and clinics in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Find out about indications, process, duration, and costs or contact our experts.
Specialists in the Field of Cardio MRI
Information About the Field of Cardio MRI
What Is a Heart MRI?
The term cardiac MRI covers all magnetic resonance imaging examinations of the heart. Magnetic resonance imaging is a procedure that allows the heart to be examined according to various aspects. It is a non-invasive procedure.
What Can Be Seen in a Heart MRI?
A complete heart MRI provides information on diverse aspects. These include:
- Anatomy of the heart
- Pump function of the heart chambers
- Circulation of the cardiac muscle
- Coronary vessels
Indication for Heart MRI
A heart MRI is indicated, among others, for:
- Congenital heart defects
- Coronary heart diseases (CHD)
- Non-ischemic cardiomyopathies
- Inflammatory myocardial diseases
- Cardiac tumors
- Valvular heart defect
- Cardiac thrombi (blood clots)
- Diseases of the large vessels in the thorax
The advantages of cardiac MRI compared to conventional diagnostics are the non-invasive examination and the more precise imaging.
Cardiac MRI Cost and Cost Coverage By the Health Insurances
Cardiac MRI is an individual health service; the expenses are usually not covered by statutory health insurance companies.
The costs for private individuals usually are - depending on the extent of the examination - about 500-1200€.
Procedure and Duration of Cardiac MRI
Carrying out a heart MRI usually takes between 20 and 60 minutes. The patient does not have to be fasting on the day of the examination. Still, it is necessary to abstain from certain medications and from consuming, e.g., coffee, tea, and chocolate. During the examination, the patient lies on an examination table, which is located inside a large ring-shaped magnet, just like a conventional MRI.
Besides, a special receiving coil is attached to the chest during the cardiac MRI. An ECG is also connected to transmit the rhythm of the heartbeat to the MRI device. If the blood circulation of the heart muscle is also examined, a contrast agent is injected through a cannula in the arm.
To obtain good quality images, it is essential that the patient follows the instructions regarding breathing. The rest of the procedure is similar to that of conventional MRI.
Risks and Side Effects of Heart MRI
The most common complications of cardiac MRI are caused by metal-containing foreign bodies that the patient has in his body. It is important to clarify this before the examination.
If a contrast agent is injected during the MRI, this can lead to allergic reactions. This is rather less common than in conventional X-ray contrast agent. In rare cases, the MRI contrast agent can lead to serious side effects on the kidney, a so-called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.
- Schulte, B. et al.: MRT des Herzens und der Gefäße. Heidelberg: Springer, 2005
- Barkhausen, J. et al.: Bildgebende Kardiodiagnostik: mit MRT, CT, Echokardiographie und anderen Verfahren. Stuttgart: Thieme, 2010
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