Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
Pregnancy. Although the strong magnetic field
used for an MRA does not appear to be harmful, MRA usually is not done when you
are pregnant. If a view of your belly is needed and you are pregnant, an
ultrasound test may be done instead.
are using a medical device that contains metal, such as an
IUD, a pacemaker, some types of artificial limbs, or
medicine infusion pumps. These devices can malfunction or cause problems during
an MRA scan.
Not being able to lie still during the test. The
results of MRA may not be accurate if you can't remain still during the
Being overweight and not fitting into the opening of some MRI
What To Think About
While MRA is a safe and valuable test for
looking at blood vessels inside the body, it is more expensive than other
imaging techniques, and it may not be available in all medical
An advantage of MRA is that no radiation is
You may be able to have your MRA in an open MRI machine that doesn't enclose your entire body. But open MRI machines aren't available everywhere. The pictures from an open MRI may not be as good as those from a standard MRI machine. Also,
these machines may not be able to do all the studies needed to check for
Open MRI is useful for people who are
claustrophobic or obese.
Conventional angiogram or a CT angiogram (computed tomography angiogram) may be done to double-check abnormal results from the
MRA in some types of blood vessels such as the aorta. These tests might be an
option especially if surgery is being considered to treat the
MRA results may show an aneurysm is present when it is
not (false-positive). It also may show no aneurysm when one
is present (false-negative). MRA is most accurate for larger blood
You may need to wait about 6 weeks before having an MRA if you
have had a stent put in your
coronary arteries. This helps decrease the chances of
movement of the stent by the magnet used in the MRA.
Other Places To Get Help
American Heart Association (AHA)
7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231
Visit the American Heart Association (AHA) website for information on
physical activity, diet, and various heart-related conditions. You can search for information on heart disease and stroke, share information with friends and family, and use tools to help you make heart-healthy goals and plans. Contact the AHA to find your
nearest local or state AHA group. The AHA provides brochures and information
about support groups and community programs, including Mended Hearts, a
nationwide organization whose members visit people with heart problems and
provide information and support.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20824-0105
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
(NHLBI) information center offers information and publications about preventing
Diseases affecting the heart and circulation, such as heart
attacks, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, and
heart problems present at birth (congenital heart diseases).
Diseases that affect the lungs, such as asthma, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, sleep apnea, and
Diseases that affect the blood, such as anemia,
hemochromatosis, hemophilia, thalassemia, and von Willebrand disease.