What is an MRI scan?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging which is a way of taking highly detailed images of inside the body. The MRI scanner is a large hollow tube which is open at both ends. The MRI scanner does not use x-rays, it’s a strong magnet and uses the magnetic field and radio waves to create images of the structure inside the body. The scanner makes very loud tapping or buzzing noises. This is normal and part of how the MRI scanner works.

Preparing for your scan

Please avoid eating a heavy meal before your scan and only drink water. Please no caffeine on the day of your scan, no tea, coffee, fizzy drinks or chocolate. Try to wear comfortable clothing with minimal metal fastening, but we will ask you to put on a hospital gown to cover your top half. A locker will be provided for your valuables and belongings.

The radiographer will explain the examination to you, they will need to do your height and weight. They will also prep you for the scan, the radiographers will need to place ECG stickers on your chest, and we may need to shave your chest in order to do this. We will also need to insert a small cannula into the vein in your arm.

What does the scan involve?

You will be taken into the scanning room and asked to lie on the table; we will use pillows and pads to make you comfortable. ECG leads will be attached to the stickers and this will let us monitor your heart rate during the scan. The area we are scanning will always be in the centre of the scanner, you will go in feet first. You will be offered headphones and through the headphones you will be able to listen to music. You will also be given a call bell, which if pressed will stop the scan and allow staff attend to you immediately. The examination will require you to hold your breath a number of times. During the scan the radiographers will inject you with a clear contrast dye; this highlights some structures more clearly.

How long will it take?

A cardiac scan can range from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.

After your scan

The radiographers are trained in obtaining high quality images and unfortunately will not be able to tell you the results. The images will be read by a Consultant Radiologist and a Cardiologist, a report will be written and send back to the referrer.

We are always keen to hear feedback from our patients, and have patient feedback forms available.

If you have any more questions please feel free to call us on 01792 472035