The Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Center at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute is one of the largest in the country. Here, our heart specialists use the most sophisticated technology available to diagnose and treat your heart problem. It is a well-established center in clinical services and research for CMR application in cardiovascular disease.
Cardiac MRIs use radiofrequency waves and magnets to create detailed 3D dynamic images and real-time videos of your heart and circulatory system. These images provide a clear view of your heart’s chambers, valves, and blood vessels in motion. Cardiac MRIs are often far superior to conventional imaging methods, usually eliminating the need for invasive procedures such as cardiac catheterization and transesophageal echocardiography.
Advantages of a cardiac MRI include:
This painless, noninvasive procedure is faster, safer, and easier than some other imaging tests that expose you to radiation or require the use of an injectable dye.
How long does a cardiac MRI take? You may have your results and diagnosis within 24 hours of undergoing this 45-minute procedure. Often, your clinician will receive the results before you get home.
We helped spearhead the use of cardiac MRIs on select patients with mechanical circulatory support devices, such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). Numerous peer-reviewed, AGH-generated publications attest to the ability to safely obtain MRI images of the entire body, serving as a breakthrough for our patients that’s not available at other centers in the country. You will always meet one of our CMR cardiologists on the day of your device-related scan to clearly define the value and options, assuring you understand the opportunity and safety considerations.
Our heart specialists rely on cardiac MRIs to make an accurate diagnosis, streamline your preoperative tests, and eliminate the need for separate procedures, such as echocardiograms and nuclear stress tests. Our team of advanced cardiologists have unique training at some of the most prestigious centers in the country and are advancing the field of CMR every year. Application of this knowledge saves and changes lives on a daily basis and is readily available at AGH.
We offer you:
Our team of dedicated and highly trained imaging cardiologists, a specialized cardiac physicist, advanced cardiology imaging fellows, MRI technicians, imaging analysts, nurses, and support staff work collaboratively to provide you with a quick diagnosis and help define an appropriate treatment plan. They can also determine whether you can have an MRI with a pacemaker, making careful adjustments to both your device and the MRI scanner to perform the study safely.
AHN was one of the first hospital systems in the country to prove that cardiac MRI is more effective at detecting heart disease in women than traditional methods, such as catheterizations and nuclear stress tests. This unique capability is offered at fewer than 10 other programs in the country and is supported by numerous peer- reviewed scientific papers for its many benefits.
AHN was among the very first hospital systems to earn accreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) for MRI Laboratories. We remain the fourth-longest continually accredited center in the country. This recognition reflects our commitment to investing in leading technology and advanced staff training. We also receive funding from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), American Heart Association (AHA), and multiple other programs to pioneer new uses for cardiac MRIs toward novel approaches for the early and established detection of disease.
Our team partners with AHN radiology experts to interpret non-cardiac images, particularly for those with implanted magnetic devices. We perform tests for patients with neurological and orthopaedic problems. We also perform presurgical cardiac scans for liver transplant candidates to ensure that heart and vascular systems can handle the stress of surgery.
When appropriate, and upon invitation, you may choose to participate in imaging research studies overseen by the AHN Cardiovascular Research Institute. AHN hosts a variety of pharmacologic and registry studies, many of which offer compensation for your efforts.