IV contrast enhanced MR angiography. This requires an IV injection of MR Contrast Material. As this circulates through the heart and then out into the arterial system of the body, rapid MR scanning is timed to coincide with the arrival of the contrast in the carotid arteries. 3D reformations are then performed to achieve an MR Angiogram.
Image of a Carotid MRA scan done at Guilford Radiology, 2009
For the MRI exam, if claustrophobia or anxiety is a problem, your referring physician may wish to prescribe a mild sedative to be given prior to the study. No other pre-visit preparation is necessary. You will need to remove all jewelry, hairclips, pony-tails and bobby pins. In addition, if your clothes contain any metal, you will need to change. This would include bras with metal enclosures and jeans with metal zippers and buttons. You will be provided a gown and a secure locker in which valuables can be placed.
Our MRI equipment has a weight limit of 440 pounds.
MR imaging uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays). Detailed MR images allow physicians to better evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases that may not be assessed adequately with other imaging methods.
Patients with cardiac pacemakers, ICD, or neuro-stimulators CAN NOT have an MRI. Patients with pins, plates, screws and joint replacements, stents & filters can have an MRI as long as it has been 6 weeks since placement of the device. Women who are pregnant should avoid having an elective MRI. Women who are pregnant and need an MRI should be individually evaluated for risk vs. benefits and should avoid an MRI in the 1st trimester of pregnancy.
Although the strong magnetic field is not harmful in itself, implanted medical devices that contain metal may malfunction or cause problems during an MRI exam.
There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected. Such reactions usually are mild and easily controlled by medication. If you experience allergic symptoms, a radiologist or other physician will be available for immediate assistance.
Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is currently a recognized, but rare, complication of MRI believed to be caused by the injection of high doses of MRI contrast material in patients with very poor kidney function.
You will be asked to lie down on your back on the scanning table. The table will then slide into the scanning area. During the test, the MRI will make a rapid tapping noise. Some MRI examinations may require an injection of contrast material into a vein in the arm. Your experience and comfort are of key importance. Therefore, you can watch TV, offered earplugs or a music headset; in addition blankets are also available. You should relax and remain still during the exam. You should plan 60-90 minutes of total clinic time. The scan time can vary from 30-60 minutes depending on the study. You may resume normal activities following the MRI.
A radiologist will analyze the images and send a signed report to the referring physician within 1 business day.
If you have any questions or concerns about your procedure, feel free to call us at 203-453-5123 or contact us online.
M-F 7:30AM to 5PM
Sat. 8AM to Noon