Patient Info

Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scans

You may be asked to have a cardiovascular MRI scan to evaluate your heart and blood vessels in more detail.

An MRI scan uses a strong magnetic field, and radio-waves similar to frequencies to those of FM radio stations and powerful computers to obtain detailed pictures of the body without using x-rays.

Prior to having a scan, you will need to fill in a safety questionnaire, which will be checked to ensure there are no reasons why it would not be advisable for you to have a scan. No detrimental effects are known from MRI scanning, however, it sometimes may not be safe to have a cardiovascular MRI scan if you have any of the following:

  • Cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator
  • Retained cardiac pacing wires
  • Surgical clips in the brain
  • Electronic ear implants
  • Metal fragments in your eyes
  • Electronic stimulators
  • Implanted pumps

You will be asked to change into a gown, and remove all metallic objects and jewellery. The scan will be performed with you lying on the back. Lightweight equipment will be placed on top of your chest. As the scanner is noisy, you will be given headphones to wear.

The scan procedure is painless and free from x-ray exposure. You will be asked to lie in the scanner for approximately 30-45 minutes, and remain as still as possible. Most scans will require you to hold your breath. These “breath-holds” last from 10-20 seconds, and this will be fully explained at the time of the scan.

At all times you will be able to communicate with staff throughout the scan, and you are supplied with an emergency buzzer. For your comfort, there is light fresh air coming through the scanner.

Many scans will require additional information, and with your consent, a clear fluid called a contrast agent is administered via a vein in the arm to provide extra information about your heart muscle. MRI contrast is considered safe and rarely produces an allergic reaction. The contrast is naturally removed from the body via the kidneys over the following 24 hours. Please inform us if you have any kidney problems.

The scans are done at:

  • The Centre for Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CAMRI)
    Basement Level, Building 505
    Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences
    85 Park Road

  • TRG Imaging
    209 Shakespeare Road