Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) Scans

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Alliance MRI strives to make your MRA imaging as quick and comfortable as possible. Our team uses state-of-the-art machines to provide you with affordable quality scans and prompt results. Schedule your MRA scan today!

What is an MRA (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 an MRA work?

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. 

When is an MRA recommended?

In general, your health care provider will order this exam if they suspect there is a bloodline blockage or narrowing of blood vessels in the body. In addition, below are a few other conditions that your provider may want to observe: 

  • Determine underlying cause of stroke 
  • Signals of heart disease  
  • Aneurysm  
  • A narrowing of the aorta, or aortic coarctation 
  • Narrowing or blockage of the vessels in the arms or legs 


How do I prepare for an MRA scan? 


Dress apparel will not matter as once you arrive for your exam you will be asked to change into a gown and remove all jewelry and piercings. 


In general, you can eat/drink as usual, but it is advised not too, if possible, just so you can avoid any necessary bathroom trips during your MRA scan.  


Before the exam you will be asked to answer a few questions to ensure safety during this procedure. Some important questions can be if you have reason to believe you are pregnant or if you have metals within your body. It’s crucial to answer these questions as accurate as possible and to the best of your knowledge.  

What to expect during the exam?

Day of MRA imaging

  1. Day of the scan, you will be prompted to remove any jewelry or piercings before entering the MRA machine 
  2. Remove clothing and use gown given  
  3. In the event your doctors asked for further detection, an I.V will be placed in your arm or hand. This is called contrast which just gives a more detailed picture of the scan. In addition, an MRA with contrast is also optimal for measuring and  
  4. You will lie on the table which will move you inside the machine and may hear sounds from the machine. This will approximately take about 30-45 mins.  

What to expect after an MRA exam?

Once the MRA scan is complete, the technician will come back into the room and slide you out of the machine. They will remove the IV if you were given it prior to the exam. You will be taken to another room to get dressed back into regular clothing and should be able to go on your way. Results of the exam will be sent to your doctor, and they will reach back out once they have carefully observed the results.  

How do I schedule an MRA scan?

Alliance MRI has locations in Houston, Texas and the surrounding areas. You can schedule your MRA scan by filling out our contact form or giving us a call.

If you have individualized needs, please call your local facility and someone will help you immediately. See general order form link


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 where the cut was made for a few days to a few weeks.

What are the benefits of MR Angiography?

There are many benefits to angiography. This is a non-invasive procedure in which ionizing radiation is not involved. Additionally, many detailed images of blood flow and blood vessels can be gathered without using 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 this type of exam is less likely to produce allergic reactions.

How long does an MRA take?  

In general, an MRA exam can take within 1 to 2 hours depending on the area of the body that is under observation.  

Does an MRA scan use contrast?

In some cases, the technician will inject contrast within your veins upon request of your doctor. This allows the images to be even more detailed in area of observation.   

Is an MRA scan safe?  

MRA scans are very safe as they are a non-invasive procedure. 

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