NYM One of Few With Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging Equipment

Mar 9, 2006

NYM One of Few With Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging Equipment

Date: March 9, 2006

Title: NYM One of Few With Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging Equipment

Health Topic: Cardiology

New York Methodist Hospital now joins a select group of institutions in the metropolitan area to offer cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). NYM''s cardiac MRI - the only one in Brooklyn - allows physicians to "see" inside a patientís chest to view detailed images of coronary artery disease and other heart conditions without using scalpels, catheters or anesthesia. Cardiac MRI equipment provides an extremely accurate picture of the heart. The pictures are formed through directing radiofrequency waves at protons in the body. The protons become ìexcitedî and then "relaxed", causing a release of signals that can be computer-processed to form a picture. These images are very important in the initial diagnosis and subsequent management of heart disease and are clearer and more detailed than with other imaging methods.

The cardiac MRI has many uses. It can capture the heart beating in real time, enabling physicians to assess damage to the he art muscle. It can also diagnose aortic dissection and can locate the rare cardiac tumor. The patient-friendly test takes less than an hour and involves no radiation.

"This technology allows us to look at the heart muscle as never before," said John Heitner, M.D., director of advanced cardiac imaging at NYM. "In many cases, it can be used to evaluate chest pain more precisely than the standard stress testing," he said.

Cardiac MRI can also diagnose "silent" heart attacks, those that occur without symptoms. The damage from the heart attack makes the heart vulnerable - a second heart attack could prove fatal, so it''s important for patients to be aware of their risk. (Approximately 15 to 20 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes and up to two percent of the general population have silent heart attacks.)

"Cardiac MRI is the latest addition to the full range of services offered by the New York Methodist-Cornell Heart Center," said Terrence Sacchi, M.D., chief of cardiology.

For more information please call the New York Methodist Hospital Institute for Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery toll free at (866) 84-HEART (43278).