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Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) is an innovative, noninvasive, radiation free method of viewing the heart, heart valves, arteries and veins of the body. CMR uses powerful magnets and advanced computers to obtain both movies and still pictures of the cardiovascular system. These images are highly detailed and can often take the place of other methods that medical providers use to view the heart. Medical providers use CMR to answer questions about diseases which involve the heart or surrounding vascular system. Anyone can have a CMR, from infants to adults, as long as they have been cleared for scanning. This usually involves completing a brief questionnaire to ensure that a patient can be safely exposed to the strong magnetic field.
CMR is performed at specialized centers. Your medical provider can assist with finding one of these centers. Both radiologists and cardiologists can perform and read CMR scans as long as they have undergone additional focused training. The Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR) is a professional organization composed of physicians and scientists with an interest in promoting cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). The SCMR website can help you get a further understanding of CMR and can also help you find a CMR focused provider or institution.
Download the SCMR Cardiac MRI Patient Checklist to view the type of questions you will be asked prior to your appointment or learn more about CMR tests for chest pain and cardiac screening through SCMR's collaboration with Consumer Reports.
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