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MR Angiography

MR Angiography

Magnetic resonance angiography produces images of blood vessels throughout the body and is commonly used to diagnose:

  • inflammation and aneurysms in the aorta or in other major blood vessels
  • atherosclerotic disease in the arteries of the neck, which may limit blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke
  • aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations in the brain
  • atherosclerotic disease that has narrowed the arteries to the legs
  • to guide surgeons making repairs to diseased blood vessels, such as implanting or evaluating a stent
  • injury to one of more arteries in the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis or extremities in trauma patients
  • pre-therapeutic assessment of arteries supplying a tumor
  • identify dissection or splitting in the aorta in the chest or abdomen or its major branches

 

The exact nature of the scan depends on the vessel that needs to be examined and the procedure varies accordingly. 

Preparation for an MRI Angiogram

This examination needs to be booked, except in case of an emergency.
Because the strong magnetic field used for MRI may interact with or be influenced by magnetic material implanted in or on the body, the MRI radiographer will enquire whether any susceptible prostheses or substances are present (see "What can I expect when I go for an MRI?") 

The radiologist or technologist may also ask about drug allergies and whether head surgery has been done in the past. If you might be pregnant, this should be mentioned.

Some patients who undergo MRI may feel confined or claustrophobic. If you are not easily reassured, a sedative may be administered. Roughly 1 in 20 patients will require medication. If you need sedation, the MRI might have to be rebooked for the following reasons:

  • You are required to be NIL PER MOUTH for at least 4 hours before sedation can be given
  • According to law you are not allowed to drive after having received a sedative.
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