What is it?

An MRI scan is able to take detailed images of the heart. An MRI used a strong magnet that is built around a narrow tunnel. This tunnel is open at both ends. The MRI uses strong electromagnetic radiation. This radiation is not dangerous, and no X-ray radiation is ever used.

What is the process?

Preparation

You may eat and drink normally, unless otherwise indicated by your physician. You may not wear any metal objects, such as glasses, jewellery, piercings, braces or metal dental prostheses.

Consult your physician if:

  • if you suffer from claustrophobia (if you are afraid of tight spaces)
  • you have metal objects implanted in your body such as vascular clips, artificial valves, a pacemaker or a defibrillator
  • you are pregnant

In the cases listed above, your physician will decide whether it is safe for you to undergo an MRI. If you are very anxious, you may be given a sedative. You may be given a contrast agent intravenously.

Test

The test takes place at the Radiology Department. For the test, you will lie still on the table for 30 to 60 minutes, while the table moves in and out of the narrow tunnel. The area of your body that is to be scanned will be in the centre of the tunnel. During the test, you will hear loud banging noises. You will be given headphones so that you can follow the radiologist's instructions. You will also be given an ‘emergency button’ to let the radiologist know if there is a problem.
No special aftercare is required.

What are the risks?

In contrast to other X-ray contrast, the MRI contrast agent does not contain iodine. Sensitivity to this constrast is rare. It cannot, however, always be administered to patients who have poor renal function.

Results

The results will be discussed during the scheduled appointment with your physician.

Centres and specialist areas

Cardiology

Latest publication date: 05/02/2021
Supervising author: Dr Provenier Frank