To find a doctor, call 800-667-5356 or click below:

Find a Doctor

Request an Appointment

left banner
right banner
Smaller Larger

Why Use Cardiac MR?

About Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in the United States.

  • CAD is implicated in 900,000 deaths per year
  • 1.5 million heart attacks occur each year
  • Estimated yearly cost of care for patients with CAD is $60 billion dollars More than 1 million cardiac catheterizations are performed each year
  • Cardiac catherization is used to define coronary artery anatomy, and also to guide therapy for cardiac patients
  • X-ray coronary angiography is associated with significant radiation exposure and a small risk (1.7%) of serious complications
  • Estimated per-patient cost of cardiac catherization is $3000-$5000 Cardiac catheterization has diagnostic limitations
  • X-ray angiography provides little information regarding coronary artery blood flow, and does not address the functional significance of coronary lesions

There is a need for an alternative, non-invasive technique, which can reliably provide both anatomic and functional information about the coronary circulation.

X-Ray Angiography Limitations

Most existing alternatives to X-ray angiography also have limitations:

  • Transthoracic and Transesophageal Echocardiography
    Limited success in defining both coronary anatomy and cardiac function
  • Computed Tomography
    Limited success in defining both coronary anatomy and cardiac function

  • Stress Echo
    Not suitable for anatomic evaluation of the coronary arteries
  • Nuclear Perfusion studies
    Not suitable for anatomic evaluation of the coronary arteries
  • Positron-Emission Tomography (PET)
    Not suitable for anatomic evaluation of the coronary arteries

Non-invasive Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Diagnostic Evaluation

MRI is established in the diagnostic evaluation of the aorta and peripheral vascular system. Recently, coronary MR angiography (MRA) has made possible the visualization of the major epicardial coronary vessels.

Non-invasive Magnetic Resonance Imaging also has the potential for non-invasive assessment of absolute coronary blood flow and flow reserve, and it can be applied for functional imaging of the LV and the RV, including measurement of ejection fraction, heart wall motion, and perfusion.

Minimize Patient Discomfort

A comprehensive cardiac examination by MRI may help to minimize health care costs and patient discomfort, while providing diagnostic advantages not available with any other single technique.

Contact Information

Cardiac MR Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
East Campus, ES405
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-8555