MRA is a commonly performed examination to assess the vessels (arteries and veins) of any region of the body. MRA of the aorta or extremities is typically requested by specialists (such as Vascular Surgeons or Interventional Radiologists) when procedures are being considered or followed up. These types of examinations require intravenous contrast (gadolinium).
MRA of the head is very commonly included in the standard MRI brain protocol, especially if a history of possible stroke or TIA is on the requisition. MRA of the head typically does not need contrast dye. It may be useful if intracranial aneurysms need to be excluded.
An MR venogram is more commonly requested by specialists considering venous thrombosis as a potential aetiology of symptoms. This examination usually uses intravenous contrast.
An MRA of the neck is not uncommonly requested by specialists to assess for the presence of carotid/vertebral artery dissection but can also assess the degree of carotid stenosis due to atherosclerotic disease. An ultrasound study of the carotids however is the first line investigation for carotid atherosclerotic disease.
- MRI is fully covered by Aviva, GLO, GMA and ESB (majority of plans covered)
- VHI cover with consultant referral only