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If my echocardiogram was normal, should I have a cardiac MRI?

I had a normal echo in June, EF (ejection fraction) 55%, and all other numbers were in order (i.e, left atrial size, posterior wall thickness, atrium, etc.). Would a cardiac MRI be beneficial as a follow up? What exactly does a cardiac MRI show that an echo does not? Thanks. 

submitted by Rick from Pennsylvania 10/31/2012


Raymond F. Stainback, MDby Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Raymond F. Stainback, MD    

When it comes to cardiovascular imaging, there should be an indication or reason for the exam. The test selected  would be based on the suspected pathology. If a normal comprehensive echocardiogram was already performed and there are no symptoms of cardiovascular disease, then there is no reason to perform an additional test such as a cardiac MRI. A cardiac MRI shows some of the cardiac anatomic structures more clearly than the echocardiogram, particularly if the patient has chronic lung disease or other reasons why the echocardiogram images may not be clear. When pericardial disease is suspected, congenital heart disease especially with extra cardiac conduit repairs, myocardial infiltrative processes, and cardiac tumors, then the MRI can have certain advantages. 

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Updated November 2012
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