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Question:

What is assessed in cardiac MRI? 

On a cardiac MRI, why might certain morphologies say, "not assessed"? ... I had thought the CMRI looks at everything but the coronary arteries ... Some of the findings on my report read as follows: [for example] "aortic valve morphology - not assessed; aortic stenosis - no abnormalities; mitral valve morphology - not assessed; mitral stenosis - no abnormalities; pericardium - no abnormalities noted."  [Edited for brevity.] 

submitted by Richard from Pennsylvania on 8/19/2013

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Benjamin Y. Cheong, MD    Benjamin Y. Cheong, MD

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI), like echocardiography (heart ultrasound), is one of the many tools that are available to look at the heart. 

Unlike echocardiography, CMRI usually is not the first line of test that a cardiologist will order. CMRI is usually reserved for answering a specific question, such as if there is any prior damage to the heart (viability study); if there is any particular problem with the heart muscle (e.g. hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, sarcoidosis); … etc.  

Therefore, depending on the original request, the report may not focus specifically on the heart valves.  In addition, from your notes, despite the fact that the CMRI study was apparently not targeted for evaluation of the valve structures, the MD did report no abnormality seen in all 4 valves (including no narrowing or leaking of the valves).  This would generally imply all 4 heart valve have normal function. 

Should you have any particular concerns, you can discuss the results with your cardiologist and the data can be reviewed by him/her again. Hope this discussion helps.

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Updated August 2013
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