What is the difference between MRI and CT? For the answer to this question,
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What is a Cardio Vascular MRI?

The use of Cardiac Vascular MRI is a valuable tool in diagnosing pericardial disease, infarction, masses/tumors, valve disease, cardiomyopathy, clots, heart disease and congenital deformities. The use of MRI technology requires specialized equipment and expertise and allows evaluation of some body structures that may not be as visible with other imaging methods.

MRI can help physicians to examine closely at the structures and function of the heart and major vessels quickly and thoroughly, and without the risks associated with traditional more invasive procedures. Using MRI, physician exams the size and thickness of the chambers of the heart, and can determine the extent of damage caused by a heart attack or progressive heart disease.

MRI is being used as part of the traditional cardiac stress test to help physicians with earlier diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and determine the appropriate course of treatment for the patient.

What is an MRA?

MR Angiography (MRA) is an MRI study of the blood vessels. It detects, diagnosis and aids in the treatment of heart disorders such as PVD (Peripheral Vascular Disease), stroke, renal artery disease leading to hypertension, and blood vessel diseases.

The results of a MRA exam are very sharp and detailed, and therefore able to detect tiny changes for the normal pattern that are caused by disease or injury.

Some of the common uses for an MRA are as follows:

The carotid arteries in the neck that conduct blood to the brain are a common site of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which may severely narrow or block off an artery, reducing blood flow to the brain and even causing a stroke.

MRA's help show the state not only of the arteries, but blood vessels as well, and has proved helpful in detecting blockage of veins in and about the brain.

MRA also is used to detect disease in the aorta and in blood vessels supply the kidneys, lungs and legs.

Patients with a family history of arterial aneurysm, a ballooning out of a segment of the vessel wall, can be screen by MRA to see if they have a similar disorder that has not produced symptoms. If an aneurysm is found, it may be eliminated surgically, possibly avoiding serious or fatal bleeding.

Some of the benefits of having an MRA:

  • Detailed images of blood vessels and blood flow are obtained without having to insert a catheter directly into the area of interest, so that there is no risk of damaging an artery.
  • The procedure itself and the time needed to recover are shorter than after a traditional catheter angiogram.
  • MRA is less costly than catheter Angiography.
  • There is no exposure to x-rays during an MRI study.
  • As with catheter-based Angiography or CT Angiography, it is possible to defer surgery after getting the results of an MRA study. Should surgery still be necessary the surgeon can perform the procedure more accurately.



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