What Is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Heart?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart, or a cardiac MRI, is
a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of a large magnet,
radio frequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of heart structures.
A magnetic field is created around the patient and pulses of radio
waves are sent from a scanner. The radio waves knock the nuclei of the
atoms in the body out of their normal position; as the nuclei realign
back into proper position, they send out radio signals.
Computers are then used to form two-dimensional (2D) images of the
heart's structure based on the activity of the hydrogen atoms.
Cross-sectional views can be obtained to reveal further details. MRI
does not use radiation, as do X-rays or computed tomography (CT scans)