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Information about the cardiac magnetic resonance exam

You will be asked to perform a brief assessment (fill in a safety Cardiac Magnetic Resonance form) and get changed into a gown (there is a private changing area for this). A small cannula (drip) is inserted in to a vein in the arm by an experienced doctor/technician. This allows a small amount of a dye to be given as part of the scan itself. This dye is called gadolinium; it is very widely used and usually has no side effects at all; very occasionally (less than 1/100 times) it causes a temporary mild headache or nausea. MRI scans are completely safe and used commonly all over the world in patients with cardiac pathologies. The scanner is noisy but not at all painful. Some people experience feelings of claustrophobia during the scan, but there is constant contact via an intercom system so you can request the study to be be paused at any time. 

You will need to lie down on your back inside a large open-ended tube, the scanner magnet. An ECG monitor (3 sticky pads) is put on your chest. This does not cause any discomfort. During scanning you will need to hold your breath for around 8- 10 seconds. If it is too long for you, just let the team know and they can modify imaging acquisition technique and make it shorter.