- What is MR angiography (MRA)?
- Does the patient have to be prepared for the examination?
- How is the procedure performed?
- Is it necessary to use a contrast agent?
MRA is a diagnostic examination for the visualization of blood vessels. It is used to find vascular aneurysms and vascular malformations, for the assessment of vascular stenoses in atherosclerosis, in the detection of varicocele and pelvic congestive syndrome, etc.
It is advisable not to eat anything for 6 – 8 hours before the examination if you are referred for an MRA of the abdominal veins.
No special preparation is required for vein investigation in other body parts, only the general MRI instructions apply.
The radiolographer will place you in the appropriate position on the examination table and install a suitable coil. You will be provided with earphones for hearing protection as loud noises are generated during the investigation. You will enter the MRI scanner where you will stay for the duration of the process. You will hold a bell in your hand to use it if any problems occur during the procedure to alert the radiographer.
It is of particular importance that you remain completely still during the investigation as the movements impair the image quality!
The examination takes about 45-30 minutes.
Such examinations are usually performed using a contrast agent. Some of them are done without it, such as to assess the patency of the lower extremity vessels in dialysis patients or young patients, to monitor the diameter of the abdominal aortic aneurysm, etc.