Stickers with electrocardiogram (ECG) leads will be applied to you on the examination table. The ECG helps create an image of the beating heart/collect information about your heartbeats and breathing. A surface coil is also attached to your chest to enhance the received signal- similar to the coils in radio transistors and other home electrical appliances.
Some MRI examinations will require a well-tolerated, non-iodinated contrast medium and/or medication (stress-MRI examinations) for better visualization. Both are administered via venous (IV) access. You will be informed about the appropriate preparation when the appointment is made.
A headset not only protects you from the loud noises made by the MRI machine but also allows you to hear instructions given by the medical staff. We can hear you through a speaker in the magnet tube and can see you through an installed camera. You can also contact us via a signal bell.
During the examination we will ask you to hold your breath several times. This serves to improve the image quality since breathing movements can blur the image and make diagnosis difficult. These breath-holding periods last no longer than 10-15 seconds (depending on how fast your heart is beating). An MRI examination of the heart usually takes between 30-45 minutes.