Cardiac MRI

Early Detection of Heart Attack

Herz_MRT-3Using our high-tech Siemens CT machine, we can obtain precise images of the heart and the arteries that supply it in only eight seconds - and without using a catheter.

Examination of the arteries that carry blood to the heart (coronary arteries) is an essential tool for ruling out the risk of heart attack. These arteries can become stenosed (constricted) over time by calcium and fat deposits, and can ultimately become completely occluded, thus causing a heart attack. CT coronary angiography (if clinically indicated) allows for a precise assessment of the risk of a heart attack, thus making it possible to take preventive action at an early stage.

Precise examinations without a catheter

Without using a catheter, precise images of the heart and the arteries that supply it (coronary heart arteries) can be obtained in only eight seconds, thus allowing for the early detection of coronary artery stenosis (constriction), which could provoke a heart attack. Inasmuch as in most cases a patient begins experiencing symptoms only after a coronary artery is 75 percent stenosed (constricted), timely examinations of these arteries can be a matter of life or death. Since heart attacks are fatal and occur spontaneously and without warning in 50 percent of all cases, diagnostic examinations of coronary arteries, and particularly measures aimed at preventing a heart attack, are crucially important.

Cardiac MRI

Cardiac MRI provides new insight into the heart, thus extending the range of diagnostic options for coronary diseases. Whereas conventional X-ray examinations yielded only a general impression of the form, size and location of the heart, our MRI machine provides a precise view of coronary functions via magnetic fields - i.e. without X-rays.

The advantage of this kind of high-tech examination is that instead of viewing still asynchronous images of the heart, we are able to observe the beating heart in real time. A very special feature of this MRI examination is that we are able to examine the heart under a simulated stress situation akin to climbing stairs or walking quickly (stress MRI). This allows for the detection of myocardial ischaemia (deficient blood supply to the heart muscle), which is not detectable in a resting state. Thus cardiac MRI also allows for preventive care in the presence of an impending heart attack.

MRIscans can also precisely visualise scar tissue from a past heart attack. In some cases, a patient has a heart attack without realising it - a so-called silent heart attack. Oftentimes the patient will recall the event as an actual or near fainting spell, whereas it was, in fact, a heart attack.
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