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Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA)
MRI angiography (MRA) uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to evaluate blood vessels and help identify abnormalities. This test does not use radiation and may require an injection of contrast material. The probability that the contrast material used for MRA causes an allergic reaction is lower than that of the contrast material used for computed tomography (CT).
Talk to your doctor about any health problems, recent surgeries or allergies, and if there is a chance that you are pregnant. The magnetic field is not harmful, but it can cause some medical devices to malfunction. Most orthopedic implants pose no risks, but you should always let the technologist know if you have any device or metal in your body. Sometimes, your doctor will give you a card with information about your implant. Give it to the technologist. The rules about food and drinks before your exam vary according to the center of attention. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, take your regular medications as usual. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose and comfortable clothes. You may be asked to wear a dressing gown. If you are afraid of enclosed spaces or suffer from anxiety, consider asking your doctor for a moderate sedative before the exam.
What is MRI angiography? What are some of the common uses of the procedure? How should I prepare? How is the team? How is it the procedure? How it is performed? What will I experience during and after the procedure?
Who interprets the results and how do I get them? What are the benefits and risks? What are the limitations of NMR angiography? What test, procedure or treatment is best for me?
What is MRI angiography?
Doctors use angiography to diagnose and treat diseases related to blood vessels. Angiography exams produce images of the most important blood vessels throughout the body. In some cases a contrast material is used.
Doctors do angiography using:
Fluoroscopy (x-rays) to help place catheters inside blood vessels and inject contrast to help see them
computed tomography (CT)
magnetic resonance imaging (NMR)
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) uses a powerful magnetic field, radiofrequency waves and a computer to assess blood vessels and help identify abnormalities. This test, like all NMR-based tests, does not use radiation.
An ARM exam may not use contrast material. If necessary, an injection of a gadolinium-based contrast material can be used. Gadolinium is less likely to cause an allergic reaction compared to iodine-based contrast materials used in CT angiography. The doctor or technologist will usually give you the contrast material by placing a small intravenous (IV) catheter in a vein in your arm.
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What are some of the common uses of the procedure?
Doctors use MRA to examine blood vessels in key areas that include:
Abdomen (kidneys and liver)
Legs and feet
Hands and arms
Doctors use ARM to:
identify abnormalities such as aneurysms, in the aorta, both in the thorax and in the abdomen, or in other arteries.
detect atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid artery of the neck, as that can limit blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.
identify a small aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation (AVM), an abnormal connection between blood vessels) inside the brain or elsewhere.
detect plaque that has caused narrowing of the arteries to the legs and help prepare for endovascular intervention or surgery.
detect the presence of a disease in the arteries to the kidneys or visualize blood flow to help prepare for a kidney transplant or stent placement.
guide intervention radiologists and surgeons while performing a procedure to rebuild diseased blood vessels, such as stent implantation, or evaluation of a stent after implantation.
detect lesions in one or more arteries of the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis or limbs in patients after trauma.
evaluate the details of the arteries that carry blood to a tumor before surgery or other procedures such as chemoembolization or selective internal radiotherapy.
Identify a dissection or split in the aorta in the thorax or abdomen or in one of its main ramifications.
show the degree and severity of coronary artery disease and its ef