Heart Information Center
Ask a Heart Doctor
  Back to previous page


Help us improve this service.

Your feedback will help guide us in developing this site.

Ask a Texas Heart Institute Doctor 
Informed patients make better patients.


Why is MRI necessary when my cath showed normal coronaries and valves? 

Why would an MRI be needed if a cath didn't show blocked arteries or a damaged valve?  I have a subaortic membrane that needs to be taken out and I just don't feel I need a MRI after the cath showed no other problems.  

submitted by Pam from Gainesville, Florida on 10/2/2013


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

Coronary angiography (cath) and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) provide different information. 

As a pre-operative evaluation, it is often very common, if not mandatory, to show the status of the coronary arteries, so that during open heart surgery, coronary bypass surgery could be performed simultaneously (in your case with surgery of the subaortic membrane).  

CMR is a very good modality for visualizing and locating the subaortic membrane, showing its relationship with the aortic valve (an important factor to know as part of the surgical planning) as well as to assess the function of the aortic valve to confirm it is not leaking. CMR can also assess the degree of "obstruction" of the subaortic membrane and can help clinicians decide if surgery is needed, or can be deferred for a time. Finally, CMR also provides a comprehensive assessment of the heart itself, to see if there are any other aspects of heart disease (such as hypertrophy or wall thickening of the heart). 

From the information provided, it appears that you already have the diagnosis of subaortic membrane and are planning for surgery.  As you discuss this with your Cardiologist / Cardiac Surgeon, I am sure they can explain the reason(s) for a CMR in your individual case. Best wishes. I hope the above helps.


See also on this site:  

Has your question or a similar one already been answered?

Search all the Heart Doctor questions and answers.

To search for a doctor or access St. Luke's physician referral service, use the "Find a Doctor" link at the top of this page.

Updated October 2013
Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to us on YouTube Find Us on Flicikr Follow Us on Pinterest Add us on Google+

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© Copyright 1996-2014 Texas Heart Institute.
All rights reserved.
This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. U.S. NEWS America's Best Hospitals 2013-14