Cardiac drugs used in cross-sectional cardiac imaging: what the radiologist needs to know

Authors: P. McParlanda, E.D. Nicolbcd, S.P. Hardena

a Department of Cardiothoracic Radiology, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Southampton, UK.
b Department of Radiology, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.
c Department of Cardiology, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.
d Department of Cardiology, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, UK.


The demand for cross-sectional imaging of the heart is increasing dramatically and in many centres these imaging techniques are being performed by radiologists. Although radiologists are familiar with the computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to generate high-quality images and with using contrast agents, many are less familiar with administering the drugs necessary to perform CT coronary angiography and cardiac MR reliably. The aim of this article is to give an overview of the indications for and the contraindications to administering cardiac drugs in cross-sectional imaging departments. We also outline the complications that may be encountered and provide advice on how to treat these complications when they occur.