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What is a cardiac perfusion stress MRI?


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If your doctor wants to look at the blood supply to your heart muscle, they will ask for a test called an adenosine stress perfusion MRI.  This is a particular type of cardiac MRI scan where a contrast dye and another medicine is used to exercise your heart so that we can obtain important information about the blood supply to the heart muscle whilst the heart is pumping normally, and whilst it is pumping harder during exercise.

About two thirds of the way through your cardiac MRI scan, we will give you an infusion of a medicine called adenosine which allows us to look at the blood supply to the heart and to see whether there are any areas where there might be a problem.

Whilst the adenosine is being infused, you will have some symptoms including shortness of breath, some chest discomfort and you may feel ‘flushed’, just as you would if you had undertaken a period of exercise.  These are all normal reactions to the medicine and show that the medicine is having the desired affect on your heart.

The infusion only lasts for around 4 minutes and within 1 minute of the infusion completing, you will feel back to normal.  When the infusion has finished, the radiographer will continue to take pictures of your heart and complete your scan.

There are no long term effects from the adenosine but the radiographers will ask you a series of questions as part of the initial consent to ensure that there is no reason why having the adenosine might be unsafe for you.

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Marvellous experience


A marvellous experience. I was very nervous having failed to go through a scan before and the two ladies were so nice and understanding and I was able to complete the scan on my front. I could not have done it without their kind understanding.

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