What is Magnetic Resonance Angiography?

What is a Magnetic Resonance Angiography?

Magnetic Resonance Angiography, also called MRA or MR Angiography, is a noninvasive test that is usually performed in conjunction with an MRI, to evaluate blood vessels in the body. 

MRA is helpful to diagnose disorders and diseases of the blood vessels, including the identification of aneurysms and narrowing or hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

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Why would my physician recommend a Magnetic Resonance Angiogram?

Your physician may recommend an MRA if you have symptoms of heart disease, a stroke, a blood clot or any number of other conditions that affect your blood vessels. Using Magnetic Resonance Angiography, the Radiologist can make an accurate diagnosis of your condition and help determine an appropriate treatment plan. MRA may also be used after treatment to monitor treatment results.

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For what areas of the body is Magnetic Resonance Angiography used?

Magnetic Resonance Angiography may be used to examine blood vessels in most areas of the body, including the:

  • Abdomen (kidneys and liver)
  • Brain
  • Chest
  • Heart
  • Lower extremities (legs and feet)
  • Neck
  • Pelvis
  • Upper extremities (arms and hands)
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How does Magnetic Resonance Angiography work?

Unlike conventional X-ray examinations and Computed Tomography (CT) scans, Magnetic Resonance Angiography does not use ionizing radiation. Instead, it uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create images of the blood vessels and arteries inside the body. These images are used to diagnose any number of health conditions including: aneurysms, arterial disease, atherosclerotic (plaque) disease and more.

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What should I expect during a Magnetic Resonance Angiogram?

If this is your first MRA, you may not be sure what to expect. Not to worry, we are here to guide you every step of the way. Before the procedure you may or may not be given a contrast agent intravenously. During the procedure, you will lie flat on an exam table and may be asked to hold your breath for 20 seconds at a time. It is important that you remain still while the table slides through the scanner. The MRI machine does generate loud noises as images are captured. All patients are given protective ear plugs, or headphones for music. The Technologist will be in the adjacent room operating the scanner, but will be able to hear and communicate with you throughout the exam. The exam will take anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes.

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Is Magnetic Resonance Angiography painful?

MRI exams are painless. The part that may be uncomfortable is remaining still during the imaging portion of the exam. If you suffer from claustrophobia, talk to your physician to see if medication may be prescribed.

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What should I expect after a Magnetic Resonance Angiogram?

When the Magnetic Resonance Angiogram is complete, you may be asked to wait until the Radiologist checks the images to ensure no additional images are needed. Once the exam is complete, you may resume your normal activity level. Our Radiologist will interpret your study and send the final report to your physician.

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How do I schedule a Magnetic Resonance Angiogram with Fairfax Radiological Consultants?

Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:

Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm

Fax: 703.698.0864

Or click here to make an appointment request

Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.

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When are appointments offered for Magnetic Resonance Angiography?

For your convenience, appointments are available mornings, afternoons, evenings and weekends at the locations listed above. Learn more about each location.

Have questions about your insurance coverage?