What are the risks associated with Cardiac MRI?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Dec 28, 2012

Cardiac MRI produces no side-effects from the magnetic fields and radio waves. This method of taking pictures of organs and tissues doesn't carry a risk of causing cancer or birth defects.

Serious reactions to the contrast agent used for MRI are very rare. However, side effects are possible and include the following:

  • Headache
  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach)
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in taste
  • Allergic reactions

Rarely, the contrast agent can be harmful in people who have severe kidney or liver disease. It may cause a disease called nephrogenic (NEF-ro-JEN-ik) systemic fibrosis.

If your cardiac MRI includes a stress test, more medicines will be used during the test. These medicines may have other side effects that aren't expected during a regular MRI scan, such as:

  • Arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), or irregular heartbeats
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations (feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too hard or fast)

 

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