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Cardiac MRI for Children

Lee Health: Providing Compassionate Care for Your Child's Cardiac Needs

Lee Health offers compassionate care and experience to ensure your child is treated with the most advanced and effective treatments available. We understand the challenges that pediatric cardiac conditions present, and are here to help your child and family understand your treatment options starting with MRIs.

What does a Cardiac MRI do?

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, a painless test that uses radio waves, magnets, and special software to take detailed pictures of your child's heart. 

Our team may decide that your child needs a Cardiac MRI, a test that provides detailed information on the type and severity of heart disease, heart valve problems, blood flow problems, congenital issues, tissue damage, pericarditis, tumors, and other conditions. We also use Cardiac MRIs to help explain results from other tests such as an X-ray or CT scan.

  • Your child's cardiac health is at the heart of our mission: To use the latest technology to diagnose and provide ongoing care while creating a warm environment for families.

How does a Cardiac MRI work?

A cardiac MRI may be performed in a clinic, a hospital, or at an outpatient center. An MRI machine is a large, tunnel-like machine that has a table. Specially trained technicians with our pediatric cardiology team will be there every step of the way to communicate what is happening.

For your child's cardiac MRI, the child lies on the table, which then slides into the machine. The machine produces loud humming, tapping, and buzzing sounds as it takes pictures, and your child will have to lie still for the pictures to be effective. Our pediatric staff provides headphones and other items to make children feel as comfortable as possible during the test. Additionally, we allow parents to be in the room during the test. 

Sometimes we may have to inject a contrast dye into your child's arm using an IV to help color the heart and blood vessels. Children may feel a slight discomfort from the needle or a cool feeling as the dye is injected. We can apply a topical anesthetic to help. 

A Cardiac MRI can be as short as 30 minutes, and we will talk through the procedure and help relieve any fears your child may have!

Pediatric Cardiology Centers Serving Southwest Florida

How to prepare your child for a Cardiac MRI

You can take these steps to prepare your child before their cardiac MRI:

  • Talk to your child about the MRI machine, the sounds, and what to expect.
  • Eat normally and take normal medicine if necessary
  • Parents should explain the test to older children so they understand to remain still during the test.
  • Children must remove any jewelry or metal before the test.
  • We advise parents to give younger children a toy to hold or have them watch videos to help them stay calm. Our staff can also help!

Pediatric Cardiology Specialists Near You

What do abnormal results from a Cardiac MRI mean?

Once your child's cardiac MRI is complete, a pediatric cardiologist and pediatric radiologist will interpret the test results. 

It's important for parents to remember that some abnormal findings are minor and do not always pose risks. However, some abnormal results may show signs of heart disease. 

Your child's primary care doctor, working closely with a pediatric cardiologist, will put an effective treatment plan into action and make sure everyone is informed and on the same page.

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