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September 19, 2003

 

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 imaging.


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