Many physicians use CT and CT angiography to diagnose and evaluate or rule out heart disease. Despite CT’s ability to pinpoint blockages in the coronary arteries, it lacks the ability to differentiate healthy tissue from abnormal tissue within the heart. CT is also not capable of assessing myocardial viability and quantifying myocardial perfusion.
Radiology and Imaging Specialists is excited to now offer Cardiac MRI at our Lakeland, Florida Imaging Center. Cardiac MRI is an excellent tool to determine heart muscle viability. It can assess the size and thickness of chambers within the heart to determine the extent and severity of valvular disease. It provides detailed information about the type and severity of heart disease in order to help guide therapeutic decisions.
MRI also offers a comprehensive assessment of the aortic root complex and thoracic access sites in patients who cannot undergo a contrast-enhanced CTA, as well as provides an excellent measurement of the size of the annulus, left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT), and aortic valve area when compared to a transthoracic echocardiogram. It can also accurately determine the severity of aortic stenosis when there is a discrepancy between clinical findings and echocardiography, due to low flow, poor acoustic window or inability to perform a stress study.
Finally, cardiac MRI is very safe. It does not require the injection of a contrast agent, nor does it expose the patient to any ionizing radiation, like a CT or nuclear medicine test.
To schedule your cardiac MRI, please call our Lakeland imaging center at (863) 688-2334.
Cardiac MRI is used to:
- Evaluate the anatomy and function of the heart, heart valves and blood flow
- Diagnose cardiovascular conditions and disorders
- Diagnose and monitor the progression of coronary artery disease over time
- Help in planning a patient’s treatment for cardiovascular disease or a disorder
- Evaluate the effects of surgery in patients with congenital heart disease
What should I expect?
A cardiac MRI is just like a regular MRI. You simply lie down on a comfortable table at our imaging center in Lakeland. The table will move you in and out of the circular machine. The technologist will communicate with you during your examination, telling you what will happen and for how long. You will be asked to lie still for the duration of the exam, to ensure the highest quality images are obtained.
When in the MRI, you will hear and feel a loud “knocking” sound. This is normal, but it can be annoying for some patients. The Radiology and Imaging Specialists’ staff is happy to provide you earplugs or headphones with music to help reduce the sounds made by the machine.
In most cases, you will change into a hospital gown to have your MRI examination. No metal objects are permitted inside the scanner, including jewelry, zippers, underwire bras, etc.
Today’s MRI scanners are also more open and less confining than they used to be. However, if you are anxious or claustrophobic, you may be prescribed a sedative to make your test more comfortable for you.
Most exam times range from 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of heart problem being investigated.
Schedule Your Cardiac MRI Today
To schedule your cardiac MRI with Radiology and Imaging Specialists, call us at (863) 688-2334. We serve patients in all of Central Florida including Kissimmee, Lakeland and Plant City.