A magnetic resonance (MR) angiography of the head uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to evaluate blood vessels and help identify abnormalities or diagnose atherosclerotic (plaque) disease. This exam does not use ionizing radiation and may require an injection of a contrast material called gadolinium, which is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than iodinated contrast material.
Locations Offering This Procedure:
Preparing For The Procedure:
The patient should wear loose clothing for the procedure. Remove all metal objects, such as jewelry and eyeglasses prior to the procedure. Refrain from eating or drinking in the hours before the procedure. Additional preparations will be made known to you by your physician.
During The Procedure:
Your doctor will inject a contrast by IV into a vein. You will lie on the examination table, which will slowly move into the MRI unit, taking a series of images. The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete.
What Will I Experience?
MRA utilizes a traditional MRI unit to conduct imaging of the blood vessels. Some patients may feel claustrophobic inside a “closed” MRI unit, and may be administered a mild sedative to alleviate anxiety.
MRA can effectively detect and diagnose abnormalities of the vascular system in a less invasive way than a catheter angiogram. This can often eliminate the need for surgery through early detection of certain conditions. It does not expose the patient to radiation, making it safe and non-invasive.