Emory Crawford Long Hospital's New Cardiac MRI Provides Non-Invasive
Look at Heart Function
ATLANTA ≠ Emory Crawford Long Hospitalís Carlyle Fraser Heart Center
is utilizing the latest techniques to view detailed images of the heart,
using magnetic resonance imaging, or an MRI, without subjecting patients
to invasive tests.
The new technology means physicians can see high-resolution images of
the heart and monitor heart function. "The cardiac MRI allows cardiologists
to evaluate coronary function and disease," says Robert L. Eisner, PhD,
co-director nuclear cardiology, cardiac MR imaging. "Itís very fast,
very accurate, and most important for the patient, itís non-invasive."
With the cardiac MRI, patients are not exposed to radiation or toxicity
as with other imaging tools. "MRI is a safe test. We can produce high
quality non-invasive imaging of the cardiovascular system with the clarity
of x-ray, but without the radiation exposure or contrast media toxicity
of the cath lab," notes Eisner. An MRI uses a magnetic field and radio
waves to image the heart, which is not obscured from view by the lungs,
breastbone or rib cage. Also, the heart can be viewed from any angle,
as if the physicians are holding it in their hands.
Images can be produced quickly, many times in one breath hold, providing
an in-depth and non-invasive look at heart structure, function, and
blood flow. "Itís incredible to see these images of a beating heart,"
says Eisner. "In a short amount of time, we can analyze cardiac function,
visualize and quantify blood flow, determine ventricular and heart function
both at rest and under stress and visualize the coronary arteries, something
that would take many tests and time to accomplish in traditional ways
The Carlyle Fraser Heart Center is home to the only hospital-based MRI
in Georgia housed in a cardiac setting and totally focused on cardiac