Magnetic resonance angiography
MRA is an MRI exam of the blood vessels. Unlike traditional angiography that involves placing a tube (catheter) into the body, MRA is noninvasive.
Why is it done?
MRA is used to look at the blood vessels in all parts of the body,
including the head, heart, abdomen, lungs, kidneys, and legs.
It may be used to diagnose or evaluate conditions such as:
• Arterial aneurysm
• Aortic coarctation
• Aortic dissection
• Carotid artery disease
• Atherosclerosis of the arms or legs
• Heart disease, including congenital heart disease
• Mesenteric artery ischemia
• Renal artery stenosis (narrowing of the blood vessels in the kidneys)
MR angiography is generally safe. It uses no radiation. To date, no side effects from the magnetic fields and radio waves have been reported.
The most common type of contrast (dye) used contains gadolinium. It is very safe. Allergic reactions to the substance rarely occur. However, gadolinium can be harmful to patients with kidney problems who require dialysis. If you have kidney problems, please tell your health care provider before the test.
The strong magnetic fields created during an MRI can cause heart pacemakers and other implants to not work as well. It can also cause a piece of metal inside your body to move or shift.