Benefits and Risks – Abdomen MR Angiography

Benefits

  • MR is a noninvasive imaging technique that does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • Detailed images of blood vessels and blood flow are obtained without having to insert a catheter into the blood vessels, so that there is no risk of damaging a major blood vessel.
  • The MR angiography procedure itself may be shorter than a traditional catheter angiogram and requires no recovery period.
  • MR angiography is less costly than catheter angiography.
  • MR angiography can provide high-quality images of many blood vessels even without using contrast material, making it very useful for patients prone to allergic reactions or with reduced kidney function.
  • The contrast material used in MR exams is less likely to produce an allergic reaction than the iodine-based contrast materials used for conventional x-rays and CT scanning.

Risks

  • The MR examination poses almost no risk to the average patient when appropriate safety guidelines are followed.
  • If sedation is used, there are risks of excessive sedation. The technologist or nurse monitors your vital signs to minimize this risk.
  • 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 MR believed to be caused by the injection of high doses of gadolinium contrast material in patients with very poor kidney function.

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