MRA or magnetic resonance angiography is a type of magnetic resonance image (MRI) scan. MRI scans are used to look at blood vessels, and the flow of blood through them is called magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). An MRA evaluates blood vessels. The blood vessels in the neck (carotid and vertebral arteries) and brain are frequently studied by MRA to look for areas of narrowing or dilatation. In the abdomen, the arteries supplying blood to the kidneys are also frequently examined with this technique. The extremities (arms, legs) can also be studied for narrowing. MRA scans can find problems of the arteries and veins, such as an aneurysm, a blocked blood vessel, or the torn lining of a blood vessel (dissection). Sometimes contrast material is used to see the blood vessels more clearly. Like an MRI, magnetic resonance angiograms (MRA) use a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of blood vessels inside the body.
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