MR angiography (MRA) utilizes a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to analyze blood vessels and diagnose abnormalities or plaque disease. Ionizing radiation is not used and may need a contrast injection known as gadolinium, which has a less likely chance of causing allergic reactions than iodinated contrast material.
Frequently Asked Questions About MRA
What is MR Angiography?
Angiography is a medical test that allows physicians to diagnose and treat medical diseases and conditions that affect the blood vessels. These exams generate images of major blood vessels throughout the body and can be done with three different imaging technologies including fluoroscopy, computed technology (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
How does MR Angiography work?
Radiofrequency pulse re-align hydrogen atoms that naturally exist in the body while in a scanner without causing the tissues to experience any chemical changes. During the process of the hydrogen atoms returning to their normal alignment, they emit various levels of energy that differ according to the specific body tissue type from which they originate. The scanner is able to capture all of this energy and generates an image of the tissues based on the information it gathers during the scan.
Is MR Angiography safe?
Angiography is a generally safe and painless procedure; however, it is common to experience bruising, soreness and a very small collection of blood near to where the cut was made for a few days to a few weeks after.
What are the benefits of MR Angiography?
There are many benefits to an angiography. This is a noninvasive procedure in which ionizing radiation is not involved. Additionally, many detailed images of blood flow and blood vessels can be gathered without the use of an IV catheter. Another advantage is that it is less costly than catheter angiography and you may return to routine daily activities the same day. Lastly, the contrast material used in these this type of exam is less likely to produce allergic reactions.
What should you expect with a MRA?
The majority of exams are painless, although some patients experience a sense of claustrophobia while in the scanner. If this is the case, sedation can be provided for those patients.
During the scan, it is quite normal for the body to feel a little warm. It is critical that the patient remain completely still while in the scanner so that the images can be captured correctly. This usually takes anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. You will remain alone in the exam room, but the technologist will still be able to hear, see and speak to you at all times via an intercom.
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Find an Alliance MRI Location that performs a MRA in Houston, San Antonio, or Pearland
Please contact Alliance MRI for more information on our MRA services and other services listed below in Houston, San Antonio, or Pearland or to find a location closest to you.
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*Please note that not all equipment is available at all centers; please check your preferred location for details on services.