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Cerebral magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a sophisticated imaging technique, which helps to distinguish blood vessels from the surrounding tissues.

What is cerebral MRA?

Cerebral MRA is a non-invasive technique, which uses the magnetic field for assessing cerebral vascular system [1].

  • Cerebral MRA is used in the diagnosis of intracranial vascular diseases and thrombosis.
  • Advanced cerebral MRA technology allows completion of procedure in patients by holding the breath only once.
  • Can assist during critical surgeries.
  • Helps in detecting tumors.
  • Time-of-flight cerebral MRA is more common and rapid as compared to phase contrast MRA.
  • In the case of stroke, cerebral MRA accurately determines the degree of impact on cerebral blood flow.

Due to the use of the magnetic field in cerebral MRA, it cannot be used in patients having certain metal implants or pacemakers.

How is cerebral MRA performed?

Equipment used for cerebral MRA is same as in magnetic resonance imaging.

  • The patient lies down on a table that slides into the equipment.
  • The patient is given earplugs to reduce the tapping sound.
  • The patient is asked to hold breath for a few seconds.
  • In cerebral MRA, a dye may be injected to create a clear image of the brain.

Cerebral MRA may take approximately 20-30 minutes for completion.

Risks of cerebral MRA

Risk of ionizing radiation exposure is avoided in cerebral MRA.

  • Risk of malfunctioning of a pacemaker in some patients.
  • Not advisable during pregnancy.
  • Risk of kidney damage in patients with kidney disease.

Preparation before performing cerebral MRA

Patient must provide a detailed medical history before undergoing cerebral MRA.

  • Follow the doctor’s advice for intake of food, water, or regular medications before cerebral MRA procedure.
  • Clothing must be loose and without any metal parts.
  • Accessories, spectacles, or hearing aids are not allowed in the MR room.
  • If the patient is claustrophobic, mild sedatives may be administered.

Post-care after cerebral MRA

The technician would remove the IV set if the contrast was injected during cerebral MRA. If a sedative is administered before cerebral MRA, the patient must not drive back home immediately.

Are you seeking advice for cerebral MRA? To confirm an appointment with an expert radiologist, download the mfine app now.

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