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MRI, MRA, MRV: What’s the difference?

The different types of magnetic field imaging tests
By DuPage Medical Group Radiology

Your doctor may have recently ordered an MRI, MRA and MRV scan of your head, but your head is spinning with what all these acronyms mean. Each type of magnetic field imaging test serves a specific purpose. Here are the differences between an MRI, MRA and MRV:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI: The general term for most MRI scans. In this case, the doctor has requested a scan be done of the entire head to look for any abnormality in general.

Magnetic Resonance Angiography, MRA: A specific type of MRI exam that allows the doctors to look specifically at the arteries, without seeing all the overlying tissues. It may or may not require the injection of a contrast material, depending on the specific vessels being scanned.

Magnetic Resonance Venography, MRV: A specific type of MRI that examines the veins without the overlying tissues being visible. Typically, this exam will require an injection of a contrast material to enhance the visibility of the veins.

There are many types of MRI scanners in the market with varying capabilities and strenght. Learn more about our state-of-the-art, High-Field MRI machines and our board-certified radiology team. 

If your physician has ordered an MRI, MRA or MRV, you may also be interested in these health topics:

5 Ways to Make Your MRI Easier

4 Benefits of Wide Bore MRI Systems

3T, 1.5T: What does this mean?


Topics and Subtopics: Diagnostic Testing & Radiology

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