Benefits and Risks - Heart and Vascular MR Angiography
Heart and vascular MR angiography 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 other traditional imaging techniques.
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.
Heart and vascular MR angiography 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 MRI believed to be caused by the injection of high doses of gadolinium contrast material in patients with very poor kidney function.