MR angiography is a radiological method to visualize the body's blood vessels with magnetic resonance.
MR angiography enables evaluation and more accurate diagnosis of various blood vessel disorders. MR angiography gives a detailed picture of the blood vessels from various parts of the body with the help of radiofrequency waves, magnetic field and computational data analysis.
Analysis of blood vessel pathologies can be done by computerized tomography (CT angiography) or magnetic resonance (MR angiography). With MR angiography it is possible to show the pathological blood vessel changes in greater detail and thus plan treatment. Color Doppler of blood vessels is the first radiologic and diagnostic method for the analysis of certain accessible blood vessels and must precede MR angiography. The main advantage of MR angiography in comparison to CT angiography is the absence of ionizing radiation. Furthermore, allergic reactions to contrast material are significantly rarer than in CT angiography. Considering that the aforementioned unwanted consequences are extremely rare, MR angiography represents a safe, quick and acceptable for the patient diagnostic method.
After removing unneeded items, the patient lies on the table of the MR machine and the contrast material is injected in an available vein through a plastic needle. The MR process is not painful, lasts about 20 minutes, but the patient has to be still during it.
MR angiography is used in the aim of:
- scanning blood vessels of certain regions of the body: brain, neck, pelvis, legs and feet, arms and hands
- detection of the presence of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries which may narrow the lumen of the blood vessel leading to reduced blood supply of that part of the body
- tracking of innate (congenital) blood vessel abnormalities
- detection of blood vessel abnormalities such as arterial broadening, i.e. bulging (aneurysm)
- detection of the presence of communication between arteries and veins (arteriovenous malformation).