What is an MRI scan?

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a safe, non-invasive test that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create clear pictures on a computer of tissues, organs and other structures inside the body. It is a useful way for doctors to check structural problems with the heart including damage after a heart attack and to investigate conditions such as angina and CAD.

What happens during an MRI scan?

The MRI scanner is like a tunnel about 1.5 meters long, surrounded by a large circular magnet. The patient lies on a couch which then slides into the scanner while a receiving device is placed behind or around the part of the body being examined.  This device picks up tiny radio signals emitted from the body. Patients are asked to lie still while the scan is taking place. It can be quite noisy but patients are usually offered earplugs or earphones to listen to music and relax. The process may last for up to an hour.