Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging

Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is sometimes used by doctors to refine a diagnosis. This test is particularly suitable for assessing the composition and function of the heart muscle itself. It also makes it possible to obtain better images of congenital heart abnormalities and certain abnormalities affecting blood vessels and heart valves.

Before the test

  • If you are taking medications these do not need to be stopped and you can eat and drink.
  • Metal items such as jewellery, piercings, hair clips, etc. should be left at home.
  • Metal items that cannot be removed, prostheses, electronic devices in the body (e.g. a pacemaker), etc. must be reported to the nurse before the test.
  • If you have claustrophobia, you should discuss this with your doctor

The test

  1. Just before the test a drip will be placed in your arm. This makes it possible to administer a contrast fluid (which does not contain iodine) during the test.
  2. During the test you will be lying on a table that will slide into the MRI tunnel. Your head goes into the tunnel first. The test takes 20 to 30 minutes on average.
  3. Magnetic resonance uses a magnetic field (not X-rays), which has to be created. You will therefore hear a knocking sound.
  4. Using the pictures that are obtained, the computer will calculate the composition of the various tissues and these will be displayed in the form of a cross-section.

After the test

  • After 24 hours the results are available to the doctor who has requested the test.

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