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Cardiovascular Imaging -- 718.780.3502

New York Methodist offers the latest technology in cardiovascular imaging, including vascular magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  Board-certified cardiologists trained in heart imaging perform and read these tests to ensure high quality heart care for people living with heart disease.

Heart imaging tests are usually used on patients who have chest pain with exercise, prior heart attacks, leaky heart valves, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or defects in the size and shape of the heart.  However, imaging equipment offered through New York Methodist also identifies circulation abnormalities throughout the body. NYM cardiologists work with thoracic and vascular specialists to identify blood flow problems and design a course of treatment that’s best for each patient.

Tests offered at NYM include:

Cardiac MRI

MRI is a safe, noninvasive test that creates detailed pictures of your organs and tissues and doesn’t  require use of radiation or iodine contrast.

Cardiac MRI creates images of your heart as it's beating, producing both still and moving pictures of your heart and major blood vessels. Doctors use cardiac MRI to look at the heart’s structure as well as function, and then decide how to treat people who have heart problems.

Cardiac MRI is a common test. It's used to diagnose and evaluate a number of diseases and conditions, including:

  • Coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease
  • Damage caused by a heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve problems
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Pericarditis (a condition in which the membrane, or sac, around your heart is inflamed)
  • Cardiac tumors
  • Infiltrative cardiomyopathies

MRI Stress Test

A cardiac MRI may include a stress test to detect blockages in the coronary arteries. If so, you will likely be given medication to increase the blood flow to your heart or to increase your heart rate.

Stress testing gives your doctor information about how your heart works during physical stress. Certain heart problems are easier to diagnose when your heart is working hard and beating fast.

During a stress test, you exercise (walk or run on a treadmill or pedal a bicycle) to make your heart work hard and beat fast. Then tests are done on your heart while you exercise.

You may have arthritis or another medical problem that prevents you from exercising during a stress test. If so, your doctor may give you medicine to make your heart work hard, as it would during exercise. This is called a pharmacological stress test.

A stress test can detect the following problems, which may suggest that your heart isn't getting enough blood during exercise.

  • Abnormal changes in your heart rate or blood pressure
  • Symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain, which are particularly important if they occur at low levels of exercise
  • Abnormal changes in your heart's rhythm or electrical activity

A stress test also may be used to assess other problems, such as heart valve disease or heart failure.

MRA

Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA) is a non-invasive test that is used to visualize blood flow in vessels throughout the body. Radio waves and a computer take pictures of the blood flow to detect malformations and “hardening” of blood vessels within the head and neck, torso and lower extremities. MRA can also be used to detect aneurysms (ballooning of the blood vessels) as small as 4 millimeters in diameter.

The advantages of MRA is that it is faster and easier than conventional angiograms since it doesn’t involve the catheters, and other risks associated with angiograms.

Once vessel closures and defects are discovered, doctors are able to recommend a treatment for improving blood flow to that part of the body.

For more information on cardiovascular imaging at New York Methodist, call 718.780.3502.


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