What happens when I have a Cardiac MRI scan?


MRI uses a very powerful magnet to take pictures. It is a popular diagnostic tool because it does not use x-rays.

The strong magnetic field does mean, however, that we need to be very careful to remove metal objects before we go into the scan room.

MRI scanner

Inside the scanner

You will need to lie very still during your scan, because movement causes the pictures to be blurred. You’ll also need to hold your breath for most of the pictures. 

Your chest will be in the centre of the scanner, so your legs will stick out of one end and your head will be at the other. We will talk to you through the headphones asking you to hold your breath and you will have a buzzer to hold in case you need to speak to us.

We can see you from the control area and via a camera. A flexible plate called a coil will be on top of your chest - it’s like an aerial for the scanner.


It’s difficult for younger children to stay still and to control their breathing correctly. It may be necessary to arrange a general anaesthetic in this instance.