This study is a type of MRI procedure. MRA studies are performed to evaluate blood vessels in the body. They can be performed using either the high-field MRI or open MRI systems. They can be performed with or without intravenous (IV) contrast. The images acquired are reconstructed in a 3D format to identify any abnormality of the blood vessels. The study is particularly useful in locating aneurysms of the brain, stenosis or occlusion of vital arteries to the brain and other body parts.
Prior to the test, you will be asked to fill out a very important questionnaire, asking you to identify any metallic or electronic devices within your body, especially related to the brain or heart. Also, please identify any previous surgery. A family member can enter the room with you, if necessary and must fill out the same form.
Certified technologists will place you on a table that slides into the core of the magnet and will be in constant communication with you. Even though they leave the room for the scanning sequences, they will always have visual and audio contact with you.
Your physician may order an intravenous contrast. This will require the technologist to insert a small catheter into a vein and use it to administer the contrast at the appropriate time. Contrast can be helpful in identifying tumors or scar tissue but does have a slight health risk. Patients will be given a consent form by the technologist to sign after receiving a full description of potential side effects of the contrast.
The electronic images are acquired, transmitted and stored in a digital format. The images, along with its reports, are immediately available for electronic transmission to referring physicians. CD copies can also be generated. Our facility can also accept or acquire similar images from other facilities for comparisons to prior studies. This becomes very important in identifying any pertinent changes in the health status of the region of interest.
No preparation is required for this exam.
Prior to the exam, you may be asked to change clothes and wear a gown.
Wearing loose fitting jogging clothes with no metal objects may allow you to avoid changing clothes.
Following the exam, the patient may resume his/her normal diet and activities.