Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital adds state-of-the-art cardiac MRI system

Feb 7, 2023, 12:00 PM
(Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital Photo) (Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital Photo) (Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital Photo) (Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital Photo) (Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital Photo) (Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital Photo)

PHOENIX — Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital added the newest gadget to its arsenal, a state-of-the-art MRI system.

The $4.3 million system will be used to detect or monitor disease through detailed pictures of the structures within and around the heart, according to a press release.

The machine delivered to the medical facility near 19th Street and Thomas Road features a magnet that weighs around 10,500 pounds and measures 7 feet by 7 feet.

The magnet’s pull is 30,000 times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic pull.

“Cardiac MRI is a tool unique in its capabilities,” Dr. Nickalaus Gramze, medical director of cardiac imaging, said.

The machine can also see the major arteries within the body to assess for aneurysms or blockages.

“Cardiac MRI can accomplish much of what is traditionally done in an echocardiogram or nuclear stress test but with a much higher degree of accuracy, reliability and safety,” Gramze said.

Since the magnet is “always on,” after it is up and running, safety precautions will be put in place.

MRI room walls are constructed with radio frequency shielding to lessen the strong magnetic pull and people are required to undergo special screening to make sure no metal is present.

Crews had to deconstruct part of the hospital during installation. Windows, doors and walls were removed to make enough room to get the magnet inside the hospital.

A large, specialized crane was brought in to lift the magnet and place it indoors.

From there, workers pushed and pulled the magnet down hallways that were almost too narrow to pass through.

“This is a great way to start 2023 and kick off Heart Month with additions to our hospital that benefit quality patient care,” Stephen Garner, CEO of Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital and Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, said.

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Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital adds state-of-the-art cardiac MRI system