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What Is An Mra Of The Brain

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What Are The Benefits Of Having An Mri/mra Performed


MRI is often a complementary procedure to other diagnostic exams, such as X-Ray, PET/CT scans or nuclear medicine. MRI test results can provide insightful information that would not otherwise be seen to the naked eye. As a result, MRI can serve as an early detector of developing diseases and abnormalities.

MRA can detect 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.

How should I prepare for an MRI/MRA exam?

Please review our preparation guidelines before your exam.

How Should I Prepare

You may wear a gown during the exam or allowed to wear your own clothing if it is loose-fitting and has no metal fasteners.

Guidelines about eating and drinking before an MRI exam vary at different facilities. Unless your doctor says otherwise, follow your regular daily routine and take medications as usual.

MRA may require an injection of contrast into a vein in your arm. The radiologist or technologist may ask if you have asthma or allergies to certain drugs, foods or the environment. Doctors may use gadolinium-based contrast material for MRI exams. It does not contain iodine, and it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than CT and X-ray iodine based contrast.

Tell the radiologist and technologist about any serious health problems and what surgeries you have had. Some patients with severe kidney or liver disease may not be able to receive contrast material during an MRI exam.

Women should always tell their doctor and technologist if they are pregnant. MRI has been used since the 1980s with no reports of any ill effects on pregnant women or their unborn babies. However, the baby will be in a strong magnetic field. Therefore, pregnant women should not have an MRI in the first trimester unless the benefit of the exam clearly outweighs any potential risks. Pregnant women should not receive gadolinium contrast unless absolutely necessary. See the MRI Safety During Pregnancy page for more information about pregnancy and MRI.

What Is An Mra

MRA stands for magnetic resonance angiography and is a medical test that helps doctors diagnose medical diseases and conditions of the blood vessels so they can treat them. In MRA, radio frequency waves, a powerful magnetic field and a computer create detailed images of your bodys major arteries. Magnetic resonance angiography doesnt use ionizing radiation such as in x-rays.

An MRA produces images of your major blood vessels in your body and health professionals may combine it with any one of these three imaging technologies:

  • Fluoroscopy : Helps interventional radiologists place catheters into a persons blood vessels.
  • Computed tomography : A diagnostic imaging test technologists use to create detailed images of internal bones, organs, blood vessels and soft tissue.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging : The non-invasive imaging technology discussed above that generates detailed 3-D anatomical images without having to use radiation.
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    Preparing For Your Mri

    Before your MRI scan, let your doctor know if you:

    • Have had surgery recently
    • Have health problems like liver or kidney disease
    • Might be or are pregnant
    • Have any allergies to medications or food
    • Have asthma

    There shouldnt be any metal in the MRI room since the machines magnetic field can attract metal. Inform your doctor if you possess any metal-based gadgets or devices that could cause problems with the test. These include pacemakers, pacing wires, inner ear implants, cerebral aneurysm clips, TENS units and implanted neurostimulators. Youll also need to inform them of any tattoos since certain darker inks could contain metal and may affect your MRI.

    Mra Vs Mri: Definitions

    MRA of the patients brain revealing extensive left middle ...

    MRAs and MRIs are diagnostic tools used to view organs, bones, or tissues inside the body. Developed more recently than X-rays, which use radiation and produce less detailed images, MRAs and MRIs rely on a strong magnetic field to provide a more defined picture.

    Sometimes, MRAs and MRIs also use contrast media administered intravenously to allow for greater differentiation of structures in the images produced by the scan.

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    What Does Unremarkable Mri Mean

    Your MRI report may contain results like Unremarkable MRI.

    But what does an Unremarkable MRI mean? Is an Unremarkable MRI a favorable or a negative thing?

    Unremarkable medical terminology has a slightly different interpretation compared to regular English.

    Medical jargon, like unremarkable medical terminology, is complex. Thankfully, MRI Elizabeth NJ diagnostic imaging networks cater to you efficiently.

    You dont even need to wait for your next appointment with your doctor. You can ask any specialized staff at your nearest MRI Elizabeth NJ center about the meanings of all medical jargon. Be it the unremarkable medical term or any other scientific term. The professionals are quick in clarifying your queries.

    Mra For Mapping Of Perforators Prior To Diep Flap Breast Reconstruction

    Wade and colleagues stated that prior to DIEP flap breast reconstruction, mapping the perforators of the lower abdominal wall US, computed tomography angiography or MRA reduces the risk of flap failure. These investigators examined the additional potential benefit of a reduction in operating time. They systematically searched the literature for studies concerning adult women undergoing DIEP flap breast reconstruction, which directly compared the operating times and adverse outcomes for those with and without pre-operative perforator mapping by US, CTA or MRA. Outcomes were extracted, data meta-analyzed and the quality of the evidence appraised. A total of 14 articles were included. Pre-operative perforator mapping by CTA or MRA significantly reduced operating time , when directly compared to DIEP flap breast reconstruction with no perforator mapping. Further, perforator mapping by CTA was superior to US, as CTA saved more time in theater and was associated with a lower risk of partial flap failure . All studies were at risk of methodological bias and the quality of the evidence was very low. The authors concluded that the quality of research regarding perforator mapping prior to DIEP flap breast reconstruction was poor and although pre-operative angiography appeared to save operative time, reduce morbidity and confer cost savings, higher quality research is needed.

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    Mra Vs Mri: Whats The Difference

    MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, uses radio waves, a magnetic field, and a computer to create images of the inside of the body. MRA, or magnetic resonance angiography sometimes called a magnetic resonance angiogram is a magnetic resonance procedure that zeroes in on the blood vessels.

    As their similar names suggest, MRAs and MRIs are closely related. In fact, MRA is a type of MRI. Both procedures allow medical professionals to examine the inside of the body without making a single incision, but their processes and uses differ.

    In the case of the two patients experiencing different problems in the same area, an MRA would produce images that would show blood clots that could be causing swelling and pain deep inside the leg. An MRI would provide images showing damage to tissues or ligaments that occurred as a result of the fall, causing mobility issues.

    Imaging technologists can pursue a bachelors degree that allows them to focus on specific types of imaging modalities, including MRIs.

    Purpose Of Magnetic Resonance Venography

    MRI and MRA scans – What is the difference?

    MRV is used to assess blood flow in the veins and can detect blood clots or other abnormalities. Most of the serious blood vessel diseases, such as stroke and heart attack, are caused by problems with arteries, not by problems with the veins.

    In general, diseases of the veins are less common than diseases of the arteries. Also, more often than not, medical conditions that involve the veins tend to be less serious than conditions that are caused by arterial disease.

    This is why it’s more common to hear about MRI or MRA than it is to hear about MRV.

    The big picture here is that if you need to have an MRV, it’s likely that your healthcare provider is evaluating you for a less common health problem that may take a while for diagnosis. Some of these problems include structural vein abnormalities or blood flow problems in the brain, developmental venous abnormalities in a very young baby, and/or blood clots that affect veins, rather than arteries.

    One specific condition that is evaluated with an MRV is called cerebral venous thrombosis, which is a blood clot in the veins of the brain. While strokes and brain disease are highly uncommon in young women of childbearing age, there is a slightly increased risk during pregnancy.

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    What Should I Expect During The Procedure

    • MRA is a painless and noninvasive procedure in which no incisions or arterial catheters are required. With some MRA techniques, contrast agents are not necessary, so no intravenous lines are needed. With other techniques, a small amount of a gadolinium-based contrast agent is added to highlight the blood vessels and enhance the sharpness of the image. This contrast material is infused through an intravenous line placed in your arm. No other preparation is involved.

      You lay down on a table that slides into the tubelike opening in the MRI unit. Before performing the actual imaging part of the examination, the physician and technologist go to an adjoining room where they can observe and speak with you at all times. When imaging occurs, the machine may produce a tapping noise, but you can wear earplugs to block this out. You lay still for a few seconds at a time while the images are being generated.

      The MRA procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis. The neuroradiologist reviews the angiograms, and the results are usually available a few hours later.

    What Is Mr Angiography

    Doctors use angiography to diagnose and treat blood vessel-related diseases. Angiography exams produce pictures of major blood vessels throughout the body. In some cases, contrast material is used.

    Doctors perform angiography using:

    • fluoroscopy to help place catheters into blood vessels and inject contrast to help visualize them
    • computed tomography
    • magnetic resonance imaging

    In magnetic resonance angiography , a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency waves and a computer are used to evaluate blood vessels and help identify abnormalities. This exam, like all MR-based exams, does not use radiation.

    An MRA exam may or may not use contrast material. If needed, an injection of a gadolinium-based contrast material may be used. Gadolinium is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than the iodinated contrast material used in CT angiography. The doctor or the technologist will usually administer the contrast material by placing a small intravenous catheter in a vein in your arm.

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    Is The Procedure Safe Can Everyone Be Examined With Mra

    • Because MRA is a noninvasive procedure, it is very safe, and it can be performed in people of all ages. Unlike radiography, MRA does not expose you to ionizing radiation. Instead, magnetic resonance angiograms are created by using a magnetic field and radio-frequency waves. The magnetic field is not known to cause any tissue damage.

      For most people, the only discomfort is from the needle puncture during intravenous administration of contrast agent. A few patients, perhaps 1 in 1,000, might have an allergic reaction to contrast material.

      MRA can be performed in most patients. People with claustrophobia may find it difficult to remain inside the small confines of the imaging unit. For these patients, the use of sedatives or new machines with an open design may be helpful.

      MRA is usually not performed in pregnant women, unless they have a medical emergency.

      MRA cannot be performed in some patients because they have metallic implants. Devices such as hearing aids and cardiac pacemakers or defibrillators and objects such as orthopedic pins and screws, aneurysm clips, shrapnel, and jewelry can interfere with the magnetic field. Conversely, the magnetic forces created by the imaging machine can cause the devices to malfunction or the objects to move inside the patient’s body.

    What Does The Equipment Look Like

    Arteries Of The Brain, Mra Photograph by Evan Oto

    The traditional MRI unit is a large cylinder-shaped tube surrounded by a circular magnet. You will lie on a table that slides into a tunnel towards the center of the magnet.

    Some MRI units, called short-bore systems, are designed so that the magnet does not completely surround you. Some newer MRI machines have a larger diameter bore, which can be more comfortable for larger patients or those with claustrophobia. “Open” MRI units are open on the sides. They are especially helpful for examining larger patients or those with claustrophobia. Open MRI units can provide high quality images for many types of exams. Open MRI may not be used for certain exams. For more information, consult your radiologist.

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    Mri Of The Blood Vessels And Heart

    An MRI focusing on the blood vessels or heart can assess the:

    • Hearts chambers: It can assess the function and size.
    • Hearts walls: It can assess the movement and thickness.
    • Aorta: It can assess any structural problems like dissections or aneurysms.
    • Damage: It can assess the extent of damage that heart disease or heart attacks cause.
    • Blood vessels: It can assess any blockages and inflammation.

    Why Is An Mri Scan Of Your Brain Done

    You may need Magnetic Resonance Imaging for numerous reasons. They might be in search of blocked blood vessels. Or maybe the doctor wants to check signs of tumors, causes of strokes, or the presence of cysts.

    You may also require an MRI if you are experiencing frequent aneurysms or swelling of your blood vessels. Sometimes, any injury to your spinal cord may damage a blood vessel or a part of your brain. In such cases, you may need to undergo an MRI to check your brains condition after such critical injuries.

    Apart from that, other conditions that may arise the need for magnetic resonance imaging are:

    • Inflammation
    • Hormonal disorders

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    What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Mra

    • Compared with catheter angiography, MRA is less invasive, less expensive, and faster to perform. For conventional angiography, a catheter is inserted though the patient’s groin and threaded up into the artery in the brain. MRA does not require this catheter. As a result, it eliminates related complications such as possible damage to an artery.

      In addition, because MRA relies on the natural magnetic properties of hydrogen atoms in the body, injections of contrast material are not always needed. This feature is especially important in patients who have had allergic reactions to contrast agents in the past.

      One drawback of MRA is that it does not depict small vessels or extremely slow blood flow as well as conventional angiography does. However, with its advantages, MRA is a good examination for many patients.

    Why You Might Need An Mri

    MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) head radiology search pattern

    The MRI is the most commonly used imaging test of the spinal cord and brain. Doctors often use it to help them diagnose:

    • Aneurysms of cerebral vessels: A thin or weak spot on a brain artery that bulges or balloons out and fills up with blood.
    • Multiple sclerosis: A disease where your immune system eats away at your nerves protective covering.
    • Disorders of the inner ear and eye: An example is Labyrinthitis, an inflammation or infection of your inner ear that causes loss of balance and dizziness.
    • Stroke: Damage to your brain due to an interruption of its supply of blood.
    • Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can result from damage to your ligaments, vertebrae or disks of your spinal column or spinal cord.
    • Tumors: A tumor is an unusual mass and isnt necessarily cancer.
    • Brain injury from trauma: A jolt or violent blow to your body or head may cause this type of injury. An object that penetrates your brain tissue like a shattered piece of skull or bullet may also cause traumatic brain injury.

    The functional MRI of the brain is a particular type of MRI. It might help in examining the anatomy of the brain and determine which brain parts are handling essential functions. This can help the doctor identify essential movement and language control areas of the brain in individuals considered for brain surgery. The doctor may also use functional MRI to assess head injury damage or damage from disorders like Alzheimers disease.

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    Before Arriving For Your Exam

    To make registration quicker and easier, we encourage you to take advantage of our online system, where you will complete the MRI Screening Questionnaire and the MRI and Pregnancy form .

    If you are claustrophobic or experience pain when lying on your back for more than 30 minutes, your referring physician may prescribe a relaxant or pain medication to help you through the exam. When scheduling your appointment, please make the IMI Team aware of any concerns or issues you might have, so we can ensure that you have everything you need to comfortably, successfully complete your MRI exam.

    While we dont anticipate a long wait, we do want to make any waiting time as pleasant as possible. Please consider bringing a magazine, book, or music with headphones to help you pass the time.

    Unless you are told otherwise, before your exam you may follow your regular daily routine, and eat, drink, and take medications as usual.

    Please leave all jewelry and valuables at home.

    What Are The Advantages Versus Disadvantages Of Mra


    • MRA can show excellent anatomy of the blood vessels without the patient undergoing conventional angiogram. There is no need of placing a large needle in the groin.
    • MRA is much faster than a conventional angiogram and the recovery is immediate.
    • MRA is less expensive than a conventional angiogram.
    • There is no exposure to radiation with MRA.
    • The contrast dye used in MRA is non-iodine and has much less toxicity.
    • MRA can be used in individuals who are unable to tolerate the dye .
    • MRA can identify the blood vessel disease, its severity and hopefully, decrease unnecessary surgery.
    • MRA scan takes less than 10-15 minutes and useful for the elderly, children and injured.
    • The contrast material sometimes used for MRI does not contain iodine, and therefore is far less likely to produce an allergic reaction than the contrast materials used for conventional x-rays and CT scanning.


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