L05 — January 2011 — Seeing Inside the Heart With MRI
Intro: One out of four. That's how many people will die of a heart-related problem. Doctors at Mayo Clinic are trying to improve those statistics. They're using MRIs to look inside the heart to find disease and tailor treatment to keep people healthier longer.
You can breathe. Breathe normally.
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, allows doctors to look inside the heart as it beats.
You can see here that this is the left ventricle, which is the main pumping chamber that pushes blood out to the body.
Dr. Brian Shapiro uses MRI to look for abnormalities in the heart.
What the MRI does is look at tissue characteristics of the heart. So, for example, swelling of the heart is a very common thing in heart attacks, in infections, things like that.
The moving or still images show exactly where damage happens.
You would see it as a very bright spot in the heart.
In addition to damage from heart attack or infection, MRI can also show Dr. Shapiro how well the heart pumps, where irregular heart beats originate, the location of blood clots, artery blockages, scar tissue or even tumors.
And because the MRI can help doctors see more detail of the heart, they can make more accurate diagnoses and tailor treatment for patients.
You can actually show where the heart attack is and the extent of the heart attack.
Images that tell Dr. Shapiro if a patient will recover, if there's permanent damage and what treatments might be best. Information from inside the heart that can help Dr. Shapiro and his colleagues better help their patients.
For Medical Edge, I'm Vivien Williams.
Dr. Shapiro says while MRI can show lots of information about the heart, it does not replace other tests such as stress tests or echocardiograms. It is another option for looking inside the heart.
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