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Cardiac MRI

Northern Virginia Radiology Consultants is proud to offer cardiac MRI.  Cardiac MRI is a noninvasive advanced imaging technique that provides both diagnostic and management information for a variety of cardiovascular diseases.  Cardiac MRI is unique in that both anatomic and functional information about the cardiovascular system can be acquired without potentially harmful ionizing radiation.  Dr. Petrovitch has specialized training in supervising and interpreting cardiac MRI.

What is Cardiac MRI?

An MRI uses powerful magnetic fields with specialized radiofrequency pulses to generate images of the heart. With cardiac MRI, images are generating throughout the cardiac cycle and are acquired in combination with your heart rate (by simultaneous EKG acquisition) .  This provides dynamic images of the heart in motion (a four chamber view of the heart is shown).

Because images are acquired in conjuction with your heart rate, perfectly still images can be acquired, providing exquisite detail of the heart.  These pictures convey useful information about cardiac disease, including aortic root aneurysms, cardiac mass evaluation, and anomalous coronary arteries.

Intravenous contrast may also be given in cardiac MRI to evaluate certain diseases.  The contrast illuminates the vessels supplying the heart and evaluates for anomalies and aneurysms.  The contrast can also highlight diseased portions of the heart which have been affected by prior heart attacks or by systemic diseases such as amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, or viral myocarditis.

What are the common indications for Cardiac MRI?

At Northern Virginia Radiology Consultants, we perform cardiac MRI for a variety of indications.  Some of the more common applications include:

How long does it take?

Depending on the indication, a cardiac MRI can take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes to perform.

Do I need to prepare for the exam?

There is no special preparation required for most examinations.

What if I have a pacemaker?

NVRC will perform MRI on patients with FDA approved MRI-Conditional pacemakers.

How can I learn more about Cardiac MRI?

If you would like to learn more about cardiac MRI, please feel free to contact Dr. Petrovitch at (703) 558-6730 or ask your primary care physician.  You can learn more online about cardiac MRI at

Disclaimer:  Please note, the information on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.  Please ask your doctor if you have any questions regarding your care.

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