MR Angiography is an MRI exam of the blood vessels. Unlike traditional angiography that involves placing a tube (catheter) into the body, MRA is considered noninvasive.
MR Angiography uses MRI imaging along with a contrast agent to visualize any vessel in the body. The patient experiences a routine MRI scan, while computer software generates digital vascular imaging sequences for interpretation.
In the past this study was used for carotid or intra-cranial images, but now is available for any part of the body, including the lower extremities.
Advantages of MR Angiography over traditional angiography:
An MR Angiography almost always provides enough diagnostic information to avoid additional diagnostic tests, with a 3-D image which allows views of the vasculature from any angle, useful in surgical planning.