MRA - Magnetic Resonance Angiogram
A magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) is a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of blood vessels inside the body. In many cases MRA can provide information that can’t be obtained from an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan.
MRA can find problems with the blood vessels that may be causing reduced blood flow. With MRA, both the blood flow and the condition of the blood vessel walls can be seen. The test is often used to look at the blood vessels that go to the brain, kidneys, and legs. Information from an MRA can be saved and stored on a computer for further study. Photographs of selected views can also be made.
During MRA, the area of the body being studied is placed inside an MRI machine. Contrast material is sometimes used during MRA to make blood vessels show up more clearly.
Why It Is Done
A magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) is done to look for:
A bulge (aneurysm), clot, or the buildup of fat and calcium deposits (stenosis caused by plaque) in the blood vessels leading to the brain.
An aneurysm or tear (dissection) in the aorta, which carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
Narrowing (stenosis) of the blood vessels leading to the lungs, kidneys, or legs.