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Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)

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Interactive vascular imaging now available

Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) is a non-invasive method of vascular imaging that offers real-time, interactive imaging.

MRA can be performed as an outpatient procedure, making it an attractive alternative to traditional X-ray angiography, which is more invasive and requires a hospital stay.

Lower extremity vascular imaging Hunt Regional Medical Center's diagnostic imaging center has the Gyroscan Intera, the latest MRA available along with the Oasis Open MRI. Both are exceptionally fast, reducing total imaging time.

MRA uses a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to scan your body and produce detailed pictures of arteries and veins that cannot be obtained with conventional X-rays. The technician can see results on the monitor during the exam and make changes in the procedure as needed.

MRA capabilities at Hunt Regional can reduce the need for long scans or repeat examinations. Continue below to learn about different types of MRA and how to prepare for your exam.

Types of MRA exams

Cardiac Imaging

MRA cardiac technology allows imaging of the heart and arteries without an invasive inpatient procedure. Pictured is a normal, right coronary artery that supplies blood to the heart, ventricles, right atrium and sinoatrial node.

Lower Extremity Vascular Imaging

Before:

Vascular ultrasound on lower extremities (the legs) to determine blood flow utilizing segmental pressures and duplex imaging was the only way to visualize these structures.

The exam took 1½ to 2 hours and could be very difficult for the patient to tolerate.

Now:

Segmental pressures can be performed in a shorter period of time which, if abnormal, can be followed up with an MRA study of the lower extremity vascular system.

If the segmental pressures are normal, no further imaging is necessary.

Advantage:

  • Using segmental pressures as a screening tool is more cost effective and time saving
  • More comfortable for the patient with less table time
  • Lower cost to the patient on essentially normal exams
Renal MRA

Renal Magnetic Resonance Angiography

Before:

Only available with invasive angiography in larger facilities.
 

Now:

Images of vascular structures were formerly visible only through invasive angiography or exploratory surgery.

This non-invasive procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, which is faster, more cost effective and is safer for the patient.

Preparing for an MRA exam

On the day of your MRA exam, do not wear makeup, jewelry, hair clips or other metallic items. You may eat and drink as usual and remain active right up until the time of your appointment.

Due to the strong magnetic field, no one with a cardiac pacemaker, ferromagnetic aneurysm clip neurostimulator, inner ear prosthesis, or any other metal or magnet sensitive objects can be allowed into the MRA scanner.
 

What to expect during an MRA exam

During the exam, you will lie back on a contoured table with your arms at your sides and your head in a headrest. When everything is ready, the table will automatically slide into the opening of the MRA. During the procedure you will hear intermittent thumping sounds produced by the magnetic field at work. This is normal.Cardiac imaging

Nothing will touch your body and you will not experience strange sensations or pain of any kind.
 
After the exam you will feel perfectly normal and will be able to resume your everyday activities. If your physician was not present during the exam, your MRA results will be sent to your physician, who will schedule an appointment to discuss them with you.

Find an MRA exam location

MRA exams are available at two locations in Greenville, TX:

     • Hunt Regional Medical Center (2nd Floor)
        Please call 903-408-5010 to reach our Imaging and Radiology Department

     • Hunt Regional Open Imaging - Greenville

To learn about other methods of diagnostic testing offered in addition to MRAs, visit our main Imaging and Radiology page.