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Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

A test that uses intermittent magnetic field energy to construct three-dimensional pictures of the heart and vascular system.

Special preparation required: Yes.
• Intake of food and liquid might be curtailed for a few hours before the procedure.
• On the day of the test, your child should not wear any clothing items with metal buttons, snaps or zippers.
• All jewelry and hair accessories should be removed.
• An IV might be placed to deliver a contrast agent that will aid with imaging. The IV remains in place until the scan is completed.

Length of testing procedure: usually 30-90 minutes.
• To help your child remain still, our MRI scanners are outfitted with a unique TV/video/audio system on the inside, technology you won't find in any other MRI scanner in the state of Nebraska.
• Children are encouraged to bring a favorite DVD or CD.

Uses - Cardiac MRI can help diagnose and evaluate a variety of congenital and acquired heart conditions including:
• Complex structural malformations
• Heart muscle disease/damage
• Abnormalities of the arteries or veins of the heart
• Post-surgery cardiac anatomy and function

Sedation/anesthesia required: Often. Children may require anesthesia or conscious sedation before the test if they suffer claustrophobia or are unable to lie still. Older patients with these concerns can be given gentle sedation/relaxation medications prior to the study.

Post-testing restrictions:
• Without sedation, your child should be able to resume normal activities immediately, unless your child's physician instructs you otherwise.
• With sedation, your child may feel groggy, tired, or sleepy for a period of several hours after the procedure. Any sedation effects should disappear within a day.