compilation image showing 3 different versions of heart imaging
Panel A. An illustration showing how MRI can take cross-sectional images at any angle through the body.
Panel B. A 3-D angiogram examining blood vessels coming off the aorta, the artery that connects the output of the heart to the rest of the body.
Panel C. Three MRIs of the heart of a patient with a small heart attack, and who has much more heart muscle at risk. The left image is a frame from a cine MRI used to make video loops of how well the heart contracts and functions. The middle image is a contrast-enhanced MRI of a heart attack. Living heart muscle appears black while the region damaged by heart attack (inside the circle) appears bright. The right image is a cine MRI frame of the perfusion, or blood supply, of the heart. This shows a large part of the heart is at risk for further damage (dark region marked with arrows).

Credit: NHLBI