A study has found Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can be used to measure how the heart uses oxygen for both healthy patients and those with heart disease. Researchers from Lawson Health Research Institute and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the US, said, reduced blood flow to the heart muscle is the leading cause of death in the Western world. Currently, the diagnostic tests available to measure blood flow to the heart require the injection of radioactive chemicals or contrast agents that change the MRI signal and detect the presence of disease.
There are small but finite associated risks and it is not recommended for a variety of patients including those with poor kidney function. Frank Prato, from Lawson Health Research Institute, has said cardiac functional MRI (cfMRI), a new method, does not require needles or chemicals being injected into the body. Prato added the new method eliminates the existing risks and can be used on all patients and that through the discovery MRI can be used to study heart muscle activity.