What is magnetic resonance angiography?

ADC's MRI machine

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is a study of the blood vessels. MRA uses special scan sequences to visualize the motion of the blood flowing through your blood vessels.

MRA can detect, diagnose, and aid in the treatment of blood vessel diseases.

  • MRA is used to detect disease in the aorta and blood vessels supplying the kidneys, brain and legs.
  • MRA is used to detect diseased or blocked arteries.
  • MRA is used to detect an arterial aneurysm (ballooning out of the heart wall). If an aneurysm is found, it may be surgically removed, possibly avoiding serious or fatal bleeding.

How is the procedure performed?

You will be placed on the MR table and positioned inside the opening of the MRI unit. The technologist will make you as comfortable as possible. A typical exam consists of two- sets of six images. These take 2 to 10 minutes each. If the physician has ordered the test to be done with “contrast”, you will have an IV placed in your arm during the procedure.

It is very important that you remain completely still during the test. Even slight movement can result in blurry images. This may make it necessary to take more images.

The loud tapping or knocking noises you will hear during parts of the exam are normal. Earplugs are available if this is bothersome. Music is available to help you relax. You will be able to communicate with the technician via intercom during the procedure.

Items not allowed in the scanning area

The MRI technology uses a magnet to produce the images. You need to make sure to remove any of these items before entering the area:

  • Credit cards and bank cards
  • Keys, watches, hearing aids
  • Bras with hooks/underwires
  • Metal zippers, button, money clips
  • Pocket knives, pens, coins, belt buckles, safety pins
  • Removable dental work, hairpins, barrettes

Who will interpret the results?

A specially trained radiologist will interpret the MRA images. A report will be sent to your physician in 1-2 days. Contact your doctor for your results.