Get answers to your heart disease prevention questions.
Nuclear magnetic resonance - chest; Magnetic resonance imaging - chest; NMR - chest; MRI of the thorax; Thoracic MRI
MRI uses no radiation. To date, no side effects from the magnetic fields and radio waves have been reported.
The most common type of contrast (dye) used is gadolinium. It is very safe. Allergic reactions to the substance rarely occur. However, gadolinium can be harmful to patients with kidney problems who require dialysis. If you have kidney problems, please tell your health care provider before the test.
The strong magnetic fields created during an MRI can cause heart pacemakers and other implants to not work as well. It can also cause a piece of metal inside your body to move or shift.
Currently, MRI is not considered a valuable tool for spotting or monitoring slight changes in lung tissue, since the lungs contain mostly air and are difficult to image.
Disadvantages of MRI include:
Aziz ZA, Hansell DM. Techniques in thoracic imaging. In: Grainger RC, Allison D, Adam, Dixon AK, eds. Diagnostic Radiology: A Textbook of Medical Imaging. 5th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 11.
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