Your healthcare provider has recommended you for either MRI or MRA of your chest and heart to be taken in the Boise, Meridian, or Treasure Valley area. Our team of sub-specialized physicians utilizes Cardiac MRI and MRA to identify and locate, and characterize various disease processes and conditions such as:
- Evaluating the anatomy and function of the heart chambers, valves, size and blood flow through major vessels, and surrounding structures such as the pericardium (fluid filled sac that surrounds the heart)
- Diagnosing a variety of cardiovascular (heart and/or blood vessel) disorders such as tumors, infections, and inflammatory conditions.
- Evaluating the effects of coronary artery disease such as limited blood flow to the heart muscle and scarring within the heart muscle after a heart attack.
- Planning a patient’s treatment for cardiovascular disorders
- Monitoring the progression of certain disorders over time
- Evaluating the anatomy of the heart and blood vessels in children and adults with congenital heart disease.
- Evaluating the effects of surgical changes, especially in patients with congenital heart disease.
This exam does not use any radiation, but does involve:
- An IV to administer contrast if necessary. The contrast material we use is called gadolinium, and is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than iodinated contrast material.
Before Arriving for Your Exam
We encourage patients to utilize the IMI online registration option where you will be able to complete the MRI Screening Questionnaire and the MRI and Pregnancy form (if applicable). This will help speed up your registration process.
If you are claustrophobic (fearful of small, enclosed areas) or experience pain when lying on your back for more than 30 minutes, your referring physician may prescribe a relaxant or pain medication to help you through the exam. Please let the IMI Team know of any concerns upon scheduling your appointment, so we can make certain you have what you need to complete your exam successfully.
We don’t anticipate a long wait time, however we want to make any waiting time as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music with headphones to help you pass the time.
- Unless you are told otherwise, take your regular medications as usual.
- Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
- You will be asked to wear scrubs during the exam.
Please tell the technologist, radiology nurse and/or imaging physician of any allergies you may have and if you are pregnant or are nursing.
You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire which will determine if an MRI is safe for you. People with various implants (usually metallic), body piercings or with metal in their bodies (including some tattoos) may have difficulty with an MRI – which utilizes a strong magnetic field. The imaging physician needs to be informed of any of these potential problems.
You will be asked questions that verify the MRI contrast (gadolinium) is safe for you. If you have had a history of kidney disease, we may require a blood test to ensure that you can safely be given gadolinium.
During the Exam
An MRI machine consists of a large cylinder shaped tube with a moveable table that slides into the center of the machine. For this exam, you will be asked to lie down on the scanning table, head-first with arms at your side. An IV will be placed in your arm. Coils (special devices to improve image quality) may be placed on or around your chest like a blanket. Electrocardiogram (ECG) leads (Small sticky patches) may be placed on your chest to help the machine synchronize the images with your heart beat. An Electro cardiac gating device will be used to follow your heart rhythm. The scanning table will slide your whole body into the magnet.
During the scan, you will not feel anything, but will hear intermittent humming, thumping, clicking and knocking sounds. Headphones will be provided to help mask the noise and to allow you to listen to music. This exam may require the use of an IV contrast agent to improve the quality of the images. The contrast agent (gadolinium) is injected into a vein in the arm, which may cause a cool sensation. As your images are taken, you must hold very still, in some cases, you will be asked to hold your breath. You will be expected to hold your breath consistently up to 80 times during the exam for the duration of 10-20 seconds. The technologist is always able to see and hear you during the exam.
After Your Exam
There are no restrictions placed upon you. You may eat or drive as normal. Your images will be examined by a radiologist in the Treasure Valley and their report will be sent to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will review the results with you.