Safety and Monitoring for Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging

  • Rolf Symons
  • Saman Nazarian
  • Henry R. Halperin
  • David A. BluemkeEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Cardiology book series (CONCARD)


An increasing proportion of patients with cardiovascular disease have higher acuity of disease and may have ferromagnetic implants with potential for interaction with the MRI environment. Familiarity with each device class and its potential for electromagnetic interaction is essential for radiologists and cardiologists performing MRI examinations in this population of patients. The final decision to perform MRI in patients with electronic devices or other implants is frequently made by considering the potential benefit of MRI relative to the attendant risks associated with various devices. While techniques for safe imaging with MRI in the setting of certain devices have been developed, the potential for catastrophic complications exists and dictates a high degree of vigilance to minimize patient risk.


ECG leads Sternal wires Epicardial wires Stents Guidewires Swan-Ganz and thermodilution catheters Balloon pumps Gadolinium-based contrast agents 



The diagnostic benefits of cardiovascular MRI are of critical importance in the management of an ever-increasing number of patients with cardiovascular disease. Patients with higher morbidity are referred for MRI, raising specific safety concerns. Although techniques for safe imaging in the setting of certain devices have been developed, the potential for catastrophic complications still exists and dictates a high degree of vigilance for safe imaging. The reader is encouraged to consult websites that provide more specific information regarding individual devices and safe administration of GBCAs (e.g., and The final decision to perform cardiac MRI should be made on an individual basis considering the potential benefit of MRI relative to the associated risks.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Symons
    • 1
  • Saman Nazarian
    • 2
  • Henry R. Halperin
    • 2
  • David A. Bluemke
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.NIH Clinical CenterDepartment of Radiology and Imaging SciencesBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins HospitalDepartment of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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