Advanced cardiac imaging refers to two types of imaging tests that let a doctor see how well the heart is working in real time. These tests are cardiac MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and cardiac CT (c)omputed tomography. At Dignity Health, we offer advanced cardiac imaging in Arizona, as part of our cardiology services. To learn more about these tests, Find a Doctor today.
Providing access to a full range of cardiovascular care, including radiology, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Chandler Regional Medical Hospital are nationally recognized leaders in heart and vascular care.
Why Cardiac Imaging May be Needed
If you or a loved one has heart disease symptoms, your doctor can use cardiac imaging tests to evaluate and diagnose the problem. Initial tests may include an EKG, also called an ECG, and blood tests. If these do not provide enough information, your doctor may recommend that you see a radiologist for advanced imaging with MRI or CT.
For more information about cardiac imaging, speak with a health care provider at Dignity Health.
What to Expect from a Cardiac MRI or CT Scan at Dignity Health
If your doctor refers you for cardiac imaging, your test will be performed in a hospital or specialized radiology clinic at Dignity Health. During the test, you will lie on a table that slides through the MRI or CT machine. Some facilities offer open MRI, which can be helpful if you are claustrophobic. You may be given a sedative to help with anxiety or claustrophobia during the test.
During cardiac imaging, a contrast dye may be injected into your bloodstream to help track the flow of blood through your heart and blood vessels. If you have an MRI with contrast, it is called an angiography. A CT with contrast is called CT angiography. When the dye is injected, you may feel a slight burning sensation at the injection site, a warm feeling throughout your body, or a metallic taste in your mouth, lasting for just a few seconds. If the imaging test requires contrast dye, be sure to tell your health care provider ahead of time if you have ever had a reaction to dye or contrast, or if you have kidney problems.
An MRI typically lasts about 30 to 90 minutes. A CT scan generally lasts less than 30 minutes.
MRI’s may damage implants, such as pacemakers and defibrillators. Your health care provider will ask if you have any electronic implants inside your body before your test begins.
Advanced Cardiac Imaging Recovery
Unless you have had sedation during your test, you will be able to return to normal activities after an MRI or CT scan. With sedation, you might need someone to drive you back home. Your doctor will give you special instructions based on your individual needs.
Dignity Health offers a wide range of radiology services, such as cardiac MRI and CT, for advanced cardiac imaging in Arizona.