Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Angiography (MRA)

What is MRI Angiography?

MRI angiography, or an MRA, is diagnostic imaging of the vascular system by using magnetism and radio waves and may be used in combination with a dye-like, ferromagnetic contrast media to produce high resolution, three-dimensional images of the blood vessels within the body.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

An MRA is most commonly performed for patients who have increased blood pressure, atherosclerosis or that have had a stroke.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

There is no special preparation required for a head MRI.  Food and fluid intake do not need to be restricted.

Please inform your physician or technologist if you are claustrophobic, or if you have a pacemaker, aneurysm clips or any metallic implants.  You should also inform your physician or technologist if there is any possibility that you may be pregnant.

What will I experience during the procedure?

Once you arrive in the MRI department, you will be asked to change into a gown and to remove any jewelry or metallic objects.  A technologist or nurse may start an IV, so that the contrast media can be injected during your scan if necessary.  You will be asked to lie on your back on a sliding MRI table that allows the technologist to move you into the MRI machine.  You will be asked to hold very still, and you may be asked to complete a series of breath holds.  You may experience a cool sensation if any contrast is injected into your veins, and your body may feel an overall warmth as the scan is performed.  The MRI machine will make a series of loud, repetitive knocking sounds.  The technologist will offer you foam earplugs or a stereo headset to mask the noise.

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

A radiologist will interpret the exam, and a signed report will be sent to your physician who will discuss the results with you.