MR Angiography

What is it?

An MRA is used to examine blood vessels throughout the body. It can be used for the abdomen, head, heart, kidneys, lungs and legs. It is used in the diagnosis and evaluation of:

  • Aneurysms, a widening or an unusual enlargement of an artery
  • Aortic conditions
  • Carotid artery problems
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney conditions
  • Stroke

How to prepare

  • You will be given instructions about what to eat and drink prior to the exam
  • You may be given a sedative to help you relax and feel more comfortable
  • Go over your entire medical history with your health care provider


  • An allergic reaction may occur from the use of a contrast material (dye)
  • The strong magnetic fields can cause pacemakers and other implants to malfunction
  • Metal inside your body may be moved or shifted slightly because of the magnetic fields
  • An MRI is not recommended if you are pregnant, as it can cause a harmful increase in the temperature of the amniotic fluid

What happens during?

The test takes approximately an hour. You will lie down on a table which slides into the tunnel-like scanner. You may be given an injection of a contrast material (dye) by I.V. The dye assists the radiologist in clearly seeing specific areas to be scanned.

Although the person overseeing the procedure is in an adjoining room, you will be in contact with that person via an intercom.

What happens after?

There is no recovery time unless you were given a sedative. You can resume normal activities immediately following the scan.

More information: