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A dramatic difference

Image: Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (2010)

Traditional imaging techniques work well most of the time. But sometimes the next level of imaging is needed to solve a puzzle, as in the case of a 42-year-old man who was having breathing problems and passing out repeatedly.

The patient saw Jody Rowland, M.D., a cardiologist at North Memorial Medical Center. Rowland reviewed the man’s electrocardiogram, which showed that his heart was stopping intermittently and displaying dangerous rhythm problems.

Rowland ordered a cardiac MRI scan to be performed at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, which revealed that the man’s unexplained heart stoppage was due to intense inflammation in the heart muscle and multiple areas of dead tissue. He was diagnosed with cardiac sarcoidosis.

The patient was referred to University heart failure specialist Peter Eckman, M.D., for treatment and received a defibrillator to prevent a future cardiac arrest.

“This highlights the immense benefits these techniques can offer to patients and physicians in our community,” says Uma Valeti, M.D., leader of the University’s heart imaging program.

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