A noninvasive test to assess the heart and blood vessels
Expert Heart & Vascular Care
Getting the care you need starts with seeing one of our heart or vascular specialists.
Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as MRI, creates detailed pictures of the heart and nearby blood vessels using a combination of radio waves, magnets and computer technology. These pictures help us assess your heart’s structure and function without using a contrast dye or radiation.
We have one of the highest volume and most advanced cardiac imaging programs in the mid-Atlantic region. Our physicians review and interpret approximately 600 images each month. Because of our expertise, we are able to quickly recognize even the rarest abnormalities, resulting in a more accurate diagnosis.
What to expect from a cardiac MRI
You will be asked to remove all piercings and jewelry. Tell your team about any metal implants or fragments you may have in your body. This could include pins, plates, screws, staples or stents.
Wearing a hospital gown, you’ll lie on a padded table, which will then be moved into the MRI machine, which looks like a giant tunnel. Let your doctor know if you’re uncomfortable in tight spaces, as medication may help you relax during the test.
You will not feel anything, but you will hear a noise as the images are being taken. You may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds at a time. An intercom will allow you to talk with your care provider in the next room during the scan, which can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. Once the cardiac MRI is done, you should be able to go back to your normal activities. Your doctor will review the results and discuss with you what the images showed.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm treatments include monitoring, medication or surgery to place a graft that reduces pressure on the walls of the aorta where the aneurysm exists.
Aneurysm surgery is used to repair bulges in blood vessels after they have ruptured or to prevent them from rupturing. Surgery may take several approaches: traditional open surgery, a minimally invasive endovascular method or a hybrid of the two.
Treating an aortic dissection can include medication, minimally invasive procedures or open surgery.
Cardiac implant closure devices are used to repair defects that allow blood to flow through a hole connecting the chambers of the heart.
Carotid endarterectomy is the surgical removal of plaque that has built up within one of the large blood vessels in your neck that supply the brain with blood.
Carotid artery stenting is a minimally invasive procedure in which a small mesh tube is placed in a narrowed artery to support and keep it open.
Treatments for congenital heart conditions range from atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale closures to cardiac ablations and heart valve replacements to heart transplants.
Endovascular complex repair of thoracoabdominal aneurysms is a minimally invasive treatment that involves smaller incisions, less pain and faster recovery than traditional open surgery for these aneurysms, which often can be difficult to treat.
Endovascular repair of a thoracic aortic aneurysm is a catheter-based procedure to place a stent within the aorta to support weakened tissue.
Fenestrated aortic aneurysm repair is a procedure using custom stents to treat aneurysms that affect multiple branches of the aorta.
Heart surgery is an option to treat many heart conditions. You may need heart surgery either as a lifesaving procedure or when other treatments haven’t worked.
Treatments for heart failure such as medications, surgery and mechanical devices vary based on the cause and severity of your condition.
A heart transplant replaces a diseased, failing heart with a healthier heart from a donor.
Iliac branch aneurysm repair is a minimally invasive treatment that involves smaller incisions, less pain and faster recovery than traditional open surgery.
Surgical treatments for heart failure can include coronary bypass surgery, mechanical support devices and heart transplants.
An IVC filter is a small, wiry device that is placed within the inferior vena cava (a large vein) to prevent blood clots from traveling to the lungs.
A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) helps the heart pump blood more effectively during end-stage heart failure.
During left ventricular reconstructive surgery, the left ventricle is reshaped to remove scar tissue caused by heart failure.
Mesenteric artery bypass improves blood flow to the intestines by creating an alternate route around a narrow or blocked portion of the artery.
MitraClip is a device our doctors use to treat mitral insufficiency, also known as mitral regurgitation.
Mitral valve disease treatments may include medication, minimally invasive procedures and surgery to treat a damaged valve.
Mitral valvuloplasty improves blood flow through the heart to the lungs and body by opening a narrow or stiff heart valve.
Off-pump bypass surgery, also known as beating-heart bypass surgery, is an option for many patients to have coronary artery bypass surgery without needing to stop the heart or lungs during the procedure.
Percutaneous valve procedures use catheter-based methods to replace a damaged heart valve and are less invasive than traditional open-heart surgeries.
Treatment for pulmonary embolisms can include medication to dissolve and prevent blood clots and surgical procedures to remove them.
Pulmonary valve repair and replacement procedures include minimally invasive and traditional surgery as well as several types of replacement material.
Rheolytic thrombectomy uses a jet of saline delivered through a catheter to break up a blood clot.
Renal artery stenting is used to open blocked or narrowed arteries that supply blood to the kidneys.
Alcohol septal ablation, also known as septal alcohol ablation, is a minimally invasive procedure our doctors use to treat hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The procedure shrinks abnormal tissue and improves blood flow throughout the body.
Septal myectomy is a surgical procedure to remove overgrown heart muscle and improve blood flow through the heart.
Structural heart and valve disease treatments address defects or abnormalities with the heart’s muscle or valves with or without surgery.
Learn how MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute uses thoracic outlet decompression to treat thoracic outlet syndrome.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive option to replace a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly and blocks the flow of blood.
Transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement (TPVR) is a minimally invasive option to replace a damaged pulmonary valve that reduces blood flow from the heart to the lungs.
Transcatheter tricuspid valve replacement is a non-surgical procedure to replace a damaged tricuspid valve.
Tricuspid valve surgery includes repair or replacement of a damaged valve using traditional or minimally invasive methods.
Valve disease treatments include monitoring, medication or surgery to repair or replace a damaged valve.
Valve sparing surgery is a procedure to repair an aortic root aneurysm without replacing the aortic valve.
Venous blood clot treatments may include medications or advanced catheter-based procedures to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clots.
Venous disease treatment may include medications, minimally invasive and surgical procedures to improve blood flow and circulation.
Venous stenting uses a wire mesh tube placed within a vein to widen it and improve blood flow.
A ventricular assist device (VAD), also known as a mechanical circulatory support device, helps the heart pump blood more effectively during end-stage heart failure.