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Cardiac MRI with contrast
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Cardiac MRI with contrast

First, I am so glad I found this forum.  I have suffered with a heart rhythm issues for almost 10 years.  I have had dozens of EKG's, a couple of stress tests, 2 echocardiograms, and worn a halter monitor twice.  I've learned how to deal with the heart palpitations, even though they still happen several times a day.  However, over the last month, they have increased in frequency and are becoming unbearable.  I have visited a cardiologist who has ordered a Cardiac MRI with contrast this week to look for diseased or damaged heart tissue.  I am terrified.  I've never had an MRI.  I have anxiety on top of the heart rhythm issues, so I'm just hoping I can survive this 90 minute procedure.  Has anyone else had this done?  What can you tell me about it?  Thanks so much for listening.  So glad I stumbled across this site-- it helps so much to read other stories so similar to mine.
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1807132_tn?1318747197
I have not had one myself but have had an mri with contrast before and if it is the same basically they will likely inject you with something then you lay down and go into a tube to be xrayed.  It isn't painful or invasive at all just kind of restrictive in the fact you are supposed to lay still.  If your test so far have shown your heart to be healthy I would suspect that this one will come back clean as well but good to be checked out for peace of mind.  I would say if it does come back work on your stress and anxiety because they are very big contributors.  As well if you have any stomach issues like acid reflux they may be making the situation worse.  Sometimes they just get worse for what seems like no reason.  Try to hang in there and do your best to not stress.  Best of luck with the test and let us know how it comes out.  Take care and stay strong.
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1423357_tn?1414258965
A cardiac MRI is no different than one of any other part of your body except a contrast dye is often used and sometimes a drug is used in conjunction with the dye to make your heart beat harder.  The dye will be introduced thru an IV at the appropriatetime during the test.  During the time in the tube, you'll hear intermittent hammering as the magnetic coil is energized, kind of like a jackhammer sound. They will either offer you ear plugs or a headset to deaden the noise.  It does make a racket.  The test itself is really just a matter of laying there.  It's really no sweat unless you're claustrophobic.   Many MRI tubes are close quarters.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi - nothing to worry about at all. I've had a couple, and I suffer from agoraphobia and panic attacks. You just lay on your back on the table, and relax. You move slowly through a 'great big donut' type thing, and it's just like a long X ray. They put a little catheter in the back of your your hand before they start it up (JUST A LITTLE INJECTION WITH A TUBE ATTACHED) and when ready the operator will tell you they are going to put some contrast dye in through it - you may feel a warm feeling in your bottom for a minute or two (felt quite nice) and that's it.
The hardest part is trying to tie the straps of the stupid gown thing you have to wear. Honestly - relax!!
lets know how it goes. Kev
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1423357_tn?1414258965
The most commonly used MRI contrast agent contains the rare earth element gadolinium.  This contrast agent is different than what is used in radiography.  You should feel little to nothing when the agent is introduced as opposed to the sudden warmth felt during a radiographic CT scan or fluoroscopy used during a cardiac catheterization.  I've had both done.  During the MRI, I felt nothing except the typical chilly IV solution feeling.  The catheterization was different.  That feels like you've suddenly and briefly wet yourself as the dye enters your heart then is pumped away into your torso and lower extremities.  You won't feel that with an MRI.
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Avatar_m_tn
I stand corrected - put it down to 'maturity'. I just know it wasn't anything to worry about. Stay well. Kev
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your responses.  If the contrast dye isn't like the kind you get with a CT scan, that makes me feel a lot better. (I hate the feeling of losing control of my bladder!)   My MRI is on Wednesday.  Trying to stay calm.  My pvcs have been terrible this week-- I'm sure the added stress of the test isn't helping anything.  I'll keep you all posted!  Thanks for your support.
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