NEW: Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging
For some time now, MediClinic is equipped with a state-of-the-art high field MRI scanner and, starting from 2020, this top-notch technology, together with the professionalism of our radiology technologists, is available to perform a very specific exam: the Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CMR).
The High Field Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging is useful in the prevention of heart disease. It is a non-invasive and completely painless method that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce 3D images of the heart and its great vessels.
In order to perform the exam, the patient is positioned inside a tube and is asked to lie still on a table. The exam lasts between 45 and 60 minutes, sometimes the use of a contrast agent, which is painless and non-invasive, might be required and the patient will be asked to collaborate with the technologist. The patient, in fact, will have an active role during the exam, as he/she will be instructed to hold the breath for an even more accurate image acquisition.
Thanks to the extremely high resolution of the acquired images, it is possible to analyze the anatomical structures in greater detail, allowing the specialist to evaluate functions and flows of specific areas of interest. The CMR findings help the cardiologist to recognize some critical elements including genetic condition, the "athlete's heart", or to observe different conditions such as ischemic heart disease, myocarditis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, valvular heart disease or pericarditis.
Despite its extreme effectiveness, the CMR cannot replace the more traditional tests, for example the echocardiogram, because in some respects it must be considered as a complementary examination that leads to a more complete diagnosis. Precisely for this reason, the CMR is classified as a "second-line examination", which in many cases is fundamental to define the patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan.
The exam cannot be perform only on a very limited number of patients, including those with certified severe claustrophobia, in the presence of devices that can be damaged by the magnetic fields (some type of stents, prostheses or pacemakers), on women in the first trimester of pregnancy or on patients with kidney failure. However, the CMR embodies the future of prevention, prognosis and treatment of many diseases that might affect the most important organ of the human body.