A Closer Look at an MRA Test With Valley Radiology
An MRA medical test is a remarkable medical imaging technique that provides an in-depth look into the body's blood vessels.
MRA offers non-invasive, high-resolution images of arteries and veins, helping healthcare professionals diagnose and monitor various vascular conditions.
If you’ve been told you need an MRA, you may ask yourself, "What is an MRA?". Here, we discuss an MRA scan in detail and explore its diverse applications, the distinctions between contrast and non-contrast MRA, cost considerations, and whether MRA and MRI can be performed simultaneously.
Continue reading to learn more.
What Is A Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)?
Magnetic resonance angiography is a specialized medical imaging technique that uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to create detailed images of blood vessels throughout the body.
It provides a highly accurate way to visualize the structure and flow of blood within arteries and veins.
MRA plays a crucial role in diagnosing and monitoring various vascular conditions and is especially valuable for assessing the circulatory system without requiring invasive procedures.
What Is An MRA Used To Diagnose?
MRA imaging is a versatile diagnostic tool used to assess and diagnose a range of vascular conditions and related health concerns, including:
- Vascular abnormalities such as aneurysms, stenosis (narrowing of blood vessels), and arteriovenous malformations
- Atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of arteries) and its impact on blood flow.
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Stroke risk assessment
- Renal artery disease
- Vascular tumors and masses
- Congenital vascular anomalies
- Traumatic vascular injury analysis
An MRA test is also helpful in preoperative planning, particularly for complex vascular surgeries and post-operative monitoring following vascular surgery.
MRA With Contrast vs. MRA Without Contrast
An MRA test can be performed in two primary modes: with contrast and without contrast.
In MRA with contrast, a contrast agent is injected into the patient's bloodstream. This contrast agent enhances the visibility of blood vessels in the images, making detecting and evaluating vascular abnormalities easier. This method is particularly valuable when assessing blood flow and identifying narrowing, aneurysms, or other vascular issues.
MRA without contrast, or non-contrast MRA, does not involve using contrast agents. Instead, it relies on the properties of blood and tissue to create images. While it is safer for patients with contrast allergies, a non-contrast MRA may provide less detailed images and be less effective in detecting subtle vascular abnormalities.
The choice between contrast and non-contrast MRA is made based on the patient's individual medical history, the suspected vascular condition, and the diagnostic goals of the healthcare provider.
Both types of MRA scans aim to obtain accurate and valuable information about the patient's vascular health to guide treatment decisions effectively. The choice between these approaches depends on the specific diagnostic requirements and the patient's medical history.
It is important to note that MRA with contrast may not be suitable for those with specific allergies, kidney problems, or other medical conditions that inhibit using contrast agents.
How Much Does an MRA Scan Cost?
The cost of an MRA scan can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the location, the specific type of MRA being performed (with or without contrast), the facility, and whether the procedure is covered by health insurance.
At Valley Radiology, we pride ourselves on providing affordable imaging solutions that meet your healthcare and financial needs. To learn more about the cost of an MRA, we encourage you to speak with a member of our team today.
Can an MRI and an MRA Be Done Together?
Yes, an MRI scan and an MRA can often be done together in a single session.
This approach, known as an MRI/MRA combination, is used when a healthcare provider needs structural and vascular information about a specific body area.
Performing both scans in one session can be more convenient for the patient and may provide a more comprehensive assessment of a medical condition.
Schedule a Comprehensive MRA in North Carolina
With locations in Fayetteville and Angier, North Carolina, we pride ourselves on providing state-of-the-art imaging services, including MRA angiography, for patients who need it most.
If you or a loved one require further evaluation and diagnosis for a vascular-related condition, we are here to help.
Contact us today to learn more about our imaging services or if your provider has sent a referral to schedule an appointment at one of our locations.