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New MRI At R.I. Hospital Gives Beating Heart Pictures
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R.I. Hospital

It's called a cardiac MRI and it's providing patients and, more importantly, their doctors with an amazing insight into our hearts. This new MRI is giving cardiologists beating heart pictures that some say can't be beat.

Russell Pescatore is lucky the walk to the room where he's having his MRI isn't a long one, "I can't walk more than 40 yards without being completely out of breath and having chest pains."

Russell is scheduled to have double bypass surgery next month, but first his cardiologist wants to get a good picture of his heart so he knows what he's getting into.

"I understand this new procedure is excellent," says Russell.

Russell is right.  This "new procedure" is actually a new take on the traditional MRI which can create a beating picture of the heart.

"What we see is abnormal movement of this part of the heart as the heart's contracting," says radiologist Michael Atalay.  Dr. Atalay is developing the "Cardiac MRI" program at Rhode Island Hospital. In the last few months it has helped physicians here unleash the mysteries behind one of our body's most important organs. In this case doctors can, for the first time, actually visualize a heart attack as well as diagnose other more evasive problems.

Dr. Atalay says, "This is the only way to accurately and non-invasively assess how much blood is flowing from one side to the other side and that's an important piece of clinical information." 

For Russell, that's an important peace of mind,  "At least, this way, when the doctor goes and opens me up he knows what he's looking at and what he's looking for."

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