Cardiac MRI at Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion

Living with heart disease or other cardiac conditions can be challenging. Having the right diagnostic testing helps your physician plan the most appropriate treatment to get you back to your life.

Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion offers cardiac, or heart, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) in collaboration with Allegheny Health Network Cardiovascular Institute. We bring cardiology experts and advanced technology together in one location ideal for outpatient care. It’s convenient to patients in Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh, Cranberry Township, Mars, Monaca, Gibsonia, and Butler. Our expertise helps you get the most up-to-date information about your condition, treatment options, and expectations for the future. The CV Imaging program is operated and managed by AHN/AGH Cardiology. All cardiac imaging interpretation is performed with state-of-the-art machines and highly specialized cardiologists.

What is a cardiac MRI

Heart MRI scans use noninvasive radiofrequency waves and powerful magnetic fields to help your physician visualize interior structures and features of your heart. No ionizing radiation is used during the procedure. Although the magnetic field is not harmful to most people, you should let your physician know if you use or have any implanted medical devices before your test.

Your physician may order a cardiac MRI to:

  • Evaluate your heart’s anatomy and functional ability.
  • Detect or monitor heart disease.
  • Assess damage after a heart attack.
  • Evaluate any tumors on or within your heart.
  • Determine the severity of heart valve problems.
  • Evaluate for congenital heart disease.
  • Compare findings from previous cardiac imaging studies.

Cardiac MRI vs. echo vs. CT scan

There are various tests a physician can perform to diagnose a cardiac condition. The least invasive options for patients include using the latest imaging technology, such as cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echocardiography (echo), and computed tomography (CT) scans. Here’s how they compare:

Echo test

One of the most common cardiac imaging procedures, echo tests, involves using an ultrasound device to transmit ultrasound waves against the chest to create real-time moving images of the heart. These images are used to evaluate the function of the heart muscle and valves.

Cardiac MRI

This test produces detailed images of the structures around and within the heart. Instead of using radiation, MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radiofrequency waves, and a computer to produce images to help your physician evaluate the heart’s anatomy and function. This is a standard imaging test needed for your doctor to thoroughly evaluate your heart.

CT scan

This test uses a series of X-rays and a computer to produce 3D images of the heart and detect conditions such as congenital heart disease. Often, a CT scan will be used as a noninvasive option in place of the invasive cardiac catheterization.

Cardiac MRI with contrast dye

Depending on the reason for your test, your physician may recommend using contrast dye to highlight arteries and veins in and around your heart. The contrast dye used in a cardiac MRI isn’t the same as the one used in a CT or catheterization lab. Allergic reactions and kidney effects are extraordinarily rare when used appropriately.

How long does a cardiac MRI take?

In many cases, heart MRI scans last one hour or less, though this will vary depending on the complexity of the exam. 

Contact us

Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 to request an appointment with a specialist at Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion.

Find us

Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion
12311 Perry Highway
Wexford, PA 15090