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Indications for Cardiac MRI

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Indications for Cardiac MRI
Indications for Cardiac CT
FAQ: Cardiac MRI
FAQ: Calcium Scoring

Cardiac MRI is a wonderful technology for assessing patients with heart disease. Most tests are performed in 30 minutes. MRI does not use ionizing radiation. Many studies don’t even require an injection. Others (such as perfusion and viability imaging) require a small injection of gadolinium contrast.

Listed below are several of the more common indications for cardiac MRI.
Contact us if you have any questions.

Quantifying left and right ventricular function
  • Cardiomyopathy  
  • Heart failure 
  • Arrythmogenic right ventircular dysplasia (ARVD) 
  • Pulmonary hypertension

Defining cardiac anatomy
  • Constrictive pericarditis
  • Cardiac neoplasm or thrombus
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Demonstrating the presence of a patent foramen ovale (PFO)

Myocardial Perfusion: for suspected ischemic heart disease (e.g. angina)

Quantifying blood flow
  • Valvular disease (e.g. aortic regurgitation, mitral regurgitation, aortic stenosis, etc.)
  • Shunts: ASD, VSD, PAPVR, and PDA

Assessing myocardial scar / viability
  • Identifying hibernating myocardium before revascularization
  • Differentiating cardiomyopathy from old myocarditis

Coronary Artery MRA: for anomalous coronary arteries

Special consideration should be made for patients:
  • That are poor echo candidates (e.g. bad echo windows)
  • That are poor nuclear candidates (e.g. obesity, large breasts, small size / women).
  • Where quantification is important
  • Who want to avoid a more invasive test (e.g. TEE, cardiac catheterization)
  • Who want one comprehensive test rather than multiple tests

Click here to see the 2006 ACC/ AHA / ACR Appropriateness Criteria for Cardiac MRI