Cardiac MRI Specialist

Alberto Morales, MD -  - Cardiologist

South Tampa Cardiology

Alberto Morales, MD

Cardiologist located in Tampa, FL

Magnetic resonance imaging uses a powerful magnetic field and radio wave pulses to create diagnostic medical images. Dr. Alberto Morales and the team at South Tampa Cardiology in Tampa, Florida, use cardiac MRIs to examine the heart, its health and function. For comprehensive assessment of your heart’s health, call South Tampa Cardiology for an appointment.

Cardiac MRI Q & A

What is a Cardiac MRI?

Though the equipment looks much like a CT scanner, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) devices don’t use radiation in image formation, so these present a safer alternative for patients who must avoid additional radiation exposure, such as pregnant women or people undergoing radiation therapy.

A non-invasive procedure, cardiac MRIs give a picture of heart health, and it is commonly used to diagnose and assess such conditions as:

  • Chamber sizes and wall thickness
  • Left and right heart function
  • Assessment of regional wall motion abnormalities
  • Assessment of valvular function
  • Assessment of heart failure
  • Assessment of obstructive coronary artery disease (when added to stress testing)
  • Presence of heart damage (heart attack)
  • Presence of myocardial diseases (interstitial heart disease)
  • Presence of myocarditis
  • Assessment of infective endocarditis
  • Assessment of pericardial diseases
  • Assessment of cardiac masses
  • Assessment of congenital heart disease
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your medical or surgical treatments
  • Screen and follow patients who receive cardio-toxic medications during cancer treatment
  • Detection of serious problems with the thoracic and abdominal aorta
  • Detection of serious problems with the pulmonary arteries
  • Detection of serious problems with the lungs, mediastinum, and esophagus

MRIs may be used in conjunction with other tests to confirm or expand on their findings.

Are There Risks Involved With MRIs?

Generally, MRIs are quite safe. However, patients with metal implants or pacemakers may not be candidates for MRI imaging. The strong magnetic fields used in MRI procedures may cause issues with things such as:

  • Artificial heart valves
  • Implants
  • Pins, plates, screws, and staples
  • Stents

A particular dye, called gadolinium, may be injected intravenously. This is a different dye than used with CT scans. Allergic reactions to it are rare but possible.

What Can I Expect With a Cardiac MRI Procedure?

As with a CT scan, you lie on a table that moves through a very large doughnut-shaped scanner. The MRI technician controls the movement of the table into the scanner.

As long as you have removed all metal, jewelry, body piercings, and watches, there’s little risk to you.

The machine makes a variety of noises as it functions, including whirring sounds and loud thumps. You may be offered earplugs or headphones.

You may be asked to hold your breath during parts of the exam to provide clearer images.

There’s no feeling or sensation.

Both the electromagnetic and radio waves pass harmlessly through the body.

The entire procedure may take up to 90 minutes, but there’s no effect on you, and you can drive safely home after the procedure.

Accepted Insurance Providers

South Tampa Cardiology works with a variety of insurance providers. If you don't happen to see yours listed, please call our office to speak with one of our knowledgable staff members.

Aetna
AvMed
Beech Street
Blue Cross Blue Shield
CarePlus
Cigna
Coventry
Freedom
Humana
Humana/ChoiceCare
Medicaid
Medicare
Multiplan
Staywell
Sunshine Health
Tricare