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Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Cardiac MRI)

Cardiac MRI: A closer look and crystal-clear images help diagnosis
A cardiologist at University of Missouri Health Care is using the latest in cardiac imaging to make precise diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. Annamalai Senthilkumar, MD, a fellowship-trained cardiologist with two years of additional training from Duke University in Durham, NC, specializes in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). His expertise has helped propel MUHC as the leader in cardiac MRI for the entire state of Missouri and is the only program to receive accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR). MUHC is also among a handful of centers worldwide performing stress cardiac MRI.

"Cardiac MRI has several advantages compared to conventional techniques," Senthilkumar says. "MRI is the only test that provides information on both the anatomy and physiology of the heart at the same time. It provides the functionality of multiple imaging modalities, including CT scan, echo, nuclear stress test and cardiac catheterization."

MRI uses intense magnets that cause molecules within the body to resonate and emit radiofrequency energy. Computers then translate the differences in radiofrequency emitted by different tissues into a visible image of organs such as the heart.
Cardiac MRI is ideally suited to detect even the smallest of heart attacks and shed light on heart muscle strength and valve function. It is especially useful in diagnosing rare cardiovascular conditions, such as tumors involving the heart; thickening of the heart lining, called constrictive pericarditis; inflammation of the heart muscle, called myocarditis; and genetic diseases like Fabry disease. Stress cardiac MRI is the most accurate among various stress testing modalities and is totally devoid of radiation exposure.

If you would like to refer a patient for a cardiac MRI, please contact Dr. Senthilkumar by calling (573) 88-HEART (884-3278).

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