Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a type of MRI, which uses radio waves, a magnetic field, and a computer to scan your body for health problems. MRAs look at the body’s blood vessels and are a less invasive test than regular angiograms, which require inserting a thin tube (catheter) into your body.
During MRA, patients lie flat inside an MRI scanner, which is a large, tunnel-like tube. Contrast dye may be put into your vein with an IV (intravenous) to make your blood vessels easier to see, though some MRA studies can be performed without contrast and do not require an IV. Non-contrast MRA can be used safely in patients who have impaired kidney function. In most Cardiac MRA’s the physician will use a contrast agent (dye) to improve the quality of the images.
MRAs are incredibly safe, noninvasive, and do not use radiation to obtain images. Instead, radio waves delivered while you’re in the scanner create images of arteries and veins.
The vascular laboratories within the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute provide all of the latest imaging techniques to diagnose and ultimately treat vascular disease. Your doctor can help determine which tests to evaluate artery or vein blockages are right for you.