Anyone able to tell me about an MRA Scan please? - PMRGCAuk


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Anyone able to tell me about an MRA Scan please?

HappyDiamonds profile image

Im booked in for an MRA Scan in a couple of weeks time arranged by Rheumatology to check my blood vessels. I understand this is slightly different to an MRI as dye is used but wondered if anyone has had one and can tell me a little bit about it please. I did ring the Hospital this morning and they said it would take about 20 minutes.

13 Replies

YuliK profile image
YuliK in reply to YuliK

Happy Diamonds, good morning.

I have posted an explanation of the difference and reasons between MRA and MRI scan. Both are extremely easy to receive.

Wish you luck with the MRA.

Please keep us informed how you get on.

YuliK 😷

HappyDiamonds profile image
HappyDiamonds in reply to YuliK

Thank you Yulik, must say Im not looking forward to it as I suffer from claustrophobia but needs must as they say.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to HappyDiamonds

An MRI machine is just a doughnut shape - not a tunnel.

piglette profile image
piglette in reply to PMRpro

I thought that was a CT machine?

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to piglette

Oops - should have said more modern ones are less claustrophobic. I didn't find the one I was in too bad at all, just noisy. But I just close my eyes and keep them closed

piglette profile image
piglette in reply to PMRpro

My consultant said just close your eyes!

in reply to piglette

The CT scanner looks like a large donut with a narrow table in the middle. Unlike MRI, in which the patient would be placed inside the tunnel of the scanner, when undergoing a CT scan, the patient rarely experiences claustrophobia because of the openness of the doughnut shape of the scanner. Typically the patient lies on their back on the table, which moves through the center of the machine. The patient moves through the scanner either head first or feet first, depending on the part of the body being scanned. For certain scans such as sinuses and middle ear, the patient would lie on their stomach and go through head first.

I've had a brain MRI and that made me very uncomfortable even though I'm not normally claustrophobic.

piglette profile image
piglette in reply to

You also have an out of this world robot voice saying “hold your breath”

YuliK profile image
YuliK in reply to HappyDiamonds

Happy Diamonds again Hi there

I also don’t feel comfortable when passing these tests. It’s not only you.

As soon as I sit down on the bed before I am going into the machine, I just close my eyes.

I do that at the dentist as well. During gyny check up too.

It does help.

Yulik 😷

PMRpro profile image

It's just using a contrast that highlights the blood vessels on the scan - an MRI shows structures, the dye just shows them up more clearly, even the tiny ones.

Hello HappyDiamonds I had a plain MRI/MRA of head and neck -no contrast though- a couple of years back and was dreading it as thought I would be claustrophobic, but I was pleasantly surprised- kept my eyes closed going in and operator chatted away to me explaining the machine noises and when to stay really still. Said I could pause if needed but didn’t. Apologies if you’re an old hand at MRIs, I wasn’t sure if you had one before and it was just the contrast part you were enquiring about. I also just wore a pull on sports vest under a loose top and elastic waisted trousers so no need for a hospital gown. Felt less vulnerable! Hopefully looked smarter than it sounds but pretty much what I’ve been wearing since lockdown now. I was told it could take 45+ minutes but was I out in less than 30. Hope all goes well, best wishes.

"MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) is a type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan that uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to provide pictures of blood vessels inside the body. A standard MRI cannot provide a good picture of the blood vessels and blood flow."

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