Explore Chest MRI
Chest MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a safe, noninvasive test. "Noninvasive" means that no surgery is done and no instruments are inserted into your body. This test creates detailed pictures of the structures in your chest, such as your chest wall, heart, and blood vessels.
Chest MRI uses radio waves, magnets, and a computer to create these pictures. The test is used to:
As part of some chest MRIs, a substance called contrast dye is injected into a vein in your arm. This dye allows the MRI to take more detailed pictures of the structures in your chest.
Chest MRI has few risks. Unlike a CT scan or standard x ray, MRI doesn't use radiation or pose any risk of cancer. Rarely, the contrast dye used for some chest MRIs may cause an allergic reaction or worsen kidney function in people who have kidney disease.
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.