Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital introduces new cardiac MRI system

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital recently implemented a new cardiac MRI system to help diagnose complex heart conditions.

A cardiac MRI is used to look at the heart’s blood vessels, blood flow, and measure heart function. The new cardiac MRI at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital features advanced technology and software that provides higher quality 2D and 3D images faster than previous iterations.

According to Dr. Nickalas Gramze, cardiologist and Medical Director of Cardiac Imaging at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital, this software has been designed expressly for cardiac MRI and is what sets the new machine apart from a normal MRI. The new system can be used to perform a stress test in real-time, watching the contrasted blood flow as it enters the heart. The technology can also identify the root cause of the condition and provide information to determine possible therapy for heart failure.

“I just had a patient with heart failure believed to be due to her breast cancer chemotherapy. It turns out she had a significant heart attack previously that she was unaware of. With this information, we can modify her treatment in an attempt to prevent future heart attacks. The reverse could be true for a different patient,” said Dr. Gramze.

According to Dr. Gramze, cardiac MRI can identify normal muscle from scar tissue, observe normal and abnormal blood flow within the heart, measure blood flow across the heart valves and in arteries, identify tumors and masses, and create 3D models to aid in understanding of each individual's unique anatomy and physiology. It can also be used to see the major arteries within the body to assess for aneurysms or blockages. MRI technology can do all this without radiation exposure or potentially dangerous iodine-based contrast use.