A chest MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a non-invasive test that creates detailed pictures of the structures in your chest, such as your chest wall, heart, and blood vessels.
Chest MRI is done to look for tumours in the chest, look at blood vessels, lymph nodes, and other structures in the chest, and help explain the results of other tests. During the chest MRI, a contrast dye is injected into a vein in your arm. The MRI takes detailed pictures of your chest structures because of this dye only.
A patient who has undergone a chest MRI can return to their normal routine right after it. It is a non-invasive test so there is nothing to be bothered about.
Sometimes, if the patient is anxious, the doctor may give them medicines to relax and will tell you to the time after which they may resume their normal activities. You may feel tired because of the medicine, so you could use some help from someone who can drive you home.
A bruise at the site of contrast dye injection may occur. A lactating mother may pass on the contrast dye to the baby through breast feed. So, she will be advised to bottle-feed her baby for a short period of time after taking the test. The doctor will tell her for how long she will need to wait before resuming breastfeeding the baby. She may want to prepare for the test by pumping and saving milk for 24 to 48 hours in advance.
A chest MRI also may be called chest nuclear magnetic resonance. Only a few risks are associated with a chest MRI because it doesn’t expose the patient to radiations like in a CT scan or standard X ray. This keeps the patient away from the risk of cancer. It is rare that a chest MRI may cause an allergic reaction or worsen the kidney function in people who have kidney disease.
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