Cardiac MRI is a non-invasive imaging modality of great significance for the diagnosis and management of a broad range of cardiovascular disorders.
Mediterraneo Hospital Cardiac MRI Department
The Cardiac MRI Department at Mediterraneo Hospital is equipped with two state – of – the art MRI scanners, a Philips Ingenia 1.5T and a Philips 3.0T Ingenia, giving us the ability to perform a high volume (more than 500 studies annually), high quality cardiac MRI scans covering all aspects of cardiovascular disease.
Apart from the regular cardiac MRI scan we have the ability to perform advanced imaging techniques such as mapping (T1, T2, T2* mapping and ECV calculation).
Specifically, they could help the diagnosis of:
- Myocardial oedema (i.e in patients with myocardial infarction or acute myocarditis)
- Diffuse myocardial fibrosis or infiltration (i.e in cases of cardiac amyloidosis)
- Fat infiltration (ie in patients with Anderson Fabry disease) or fat displacement of myocardial tissue
- Myocardial iron overload
These techniques significantly increase the diagnostic accuracy of the method and contribute to the early diagnosis of subclinical form of a number of cardiac disorders as well as to the follow up of the patients.
How is the Cardiac MRI performed?
Before the examination every metal object should be removed (women’s bra, watch, mobile phone, coins and jewelry). Other objects such as eyeglasses, artificial teeth, earrings, transdermal drug patches should also be removed before the patient’s entrance into the MRI department.
The MRI scanner has a cylindrical shape, open on both sides, with a minimum diameter of 60 cm. The facilities offer good lighting and ventilation and a specific ventilator in the machine offers fresh air during the examination. Additionally, the patient can always communicate with the technician in case of any discomfort.
The patient’s preparation includes a vein catheter insertion for the infusion of contrast agents. Subsequently, the patient is placed on the scanner’s bed and 3 electrodes are attached to his chest for monitoring cardiac rhythm, along with a sensor for monitoring breathing during the procedure.
The patient is informed about the details of the procedure as well as the noise that the MRI scanner produces. Special ear phones are offered for ear protection.
The patient is asked to remain still during the examination and to follow the technician’s orders of holding his breath for some seconds. The duration of the examination is approximately 45 minutes but it can be prolonged if arrhythmia occurs or if the patient fails to follow the breathing instructions. The latter could also alter the imaging quality.
Once the examination has concluded, the patient is free to leave the hospital. There aren’t any restrictions related to food consumption, his activities or his socialization.