Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans are a non-invasive method that cardiologists use for clinical evaluation of aortic pathology.
What is an MRI of the Thoracic Aorta?
MRI’s obtain 3D images of the thoracic aorta using strong magnets and radio waves. MR angiography (a type of MRI) is the technique most commonly used to image the lumen (inside of artery) to provide precise information about aortic anatomy, physiologic flow, and other conditions. In contrast-enhanced MRA, a dye is injected which circulates through the heart and the arterial system; this yields a good contrast between the thoracic aorta and the veins, and tissues in the background. Cardiologists order an MRA to understand better thoracic aortic aneurysms, acute aortic syndromes, tears and other disorders relating to the thoracic aorta.
How is an MRI of the Thoracic Aorta Performed?
An MRA takes approximately 60 – 90 minutes:
- The patient needs to be administered with a contrast dye either orally or through an injection before the procedure begins.
- The patient will be asked to remove all jewelry and accessories and will be made to wear earplugs to protect hearing.
- The patient has to lie entirely still on a narrow examination bed, which will move in and out of a tunnel-like chamber (the MRI scanner), to take 3D images.
- Once the procedure is complete, the patient can leave the chamber and resume regular activity.
Side-effects of an MRI of the Thoracic Aorta
It is possible to have an allergic reaction to the contrast dye; mild or severe. MRIs can be unsafe for patients with metal implants.
Preparations before performing an MRI of Thoracic Aorta
Patient has to visit the radiology department to know the scheduled time of MRI:
- Speak with your doctor beforehand about: any metal implants, pregnancy or claustrophobia (relaxant can be prescribed).
- Follow any specific instructions from your doctor.
Post-care after MRI of the Thoracic Aorta
Patients can immediately leave the radiology facility after an MRI of the thoracic aorta.
If you have been given a sedative, make sure to have someone else drive you home.
Drink a lot of fluids to flush out the contrast dye.
Consult a cardiologist immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms, at mfine we provide the best doctors online to avail consultation from the comfort of your home.
Download the mfine app and consult the best cardiologists online.