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MRA of the Neck: Exam Description

Your doctor has ordered a MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiogram of your neck (Carotids). MRA uses a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to create images of soft tissues, bones and internal body structures. MRA of the neck is used to produce two three-dimensional images of the blood vessels. MRA of the neck is primarily used to detect narrowing of the arteries.
MRA showing blood vessels in neckArteries in the neck

HOW DO I GET READY FOR MY EXAM?

We recommend you print and fill out the MRI questionnaire form before arriving. It will help accelerate the registration process.

If you are claustrophobic (fear of enclosed spaces) or experience intense pain while lying down for more than 10 minutes, we recommend you contact your referring physician and request a relaxant or pain medication to help you through the scan. The radiology physicians will not prescribe these medications for you.

  • Please wear comfortable clothing, preferably cotton, and leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
  • You will be asked to wear a gown for your exam.
  • No special preparation is necessary for this exam.
  • Please call the number below if you have any questions regarding your exam.

(805) 681-7671

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER ARRIVING FOR MY EXAM?

  • Please check-in at the main registration desk and then check-in at the radiology reception desk.
  • Please inform the technologist(s) if you have any allergies, pregnant, or are nursing, or if you have an aneurysm clip(s), pacemaker, bone growth stimulator, pain pump, and/or other electronic implanted device(s).

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING MY EXAM?

  • The MRA of the neck requires you to lie down on the scanning table, head-first.
  • A coil (special device) will be placed around your head/neck during the scan.  
  • The scanning table will slide your body into the magnet.
  • During the scan, you will not feel anything, but will hear intermittent humming, clicking and knocking sounds. Earplugs will be required during the scan to help mask the noise.
  • In some cases, a contrast agent (dye) might be used to obtain additional information (only applies when indicated per radiologist). If a contrast agent is used, the MRI technologist will inject the agent into a vein in the arm or hand. The injection will only take a few seconds.
  • It is very important to remain very still during the scan to obtain optimal image quality.
  • The technologists will be able to see and hear you at all times during the exam. You will also be provided an emergency device to obtain the technologist's attention at any time, if needed.
  • The MRA of the neck will take approximately 30 minutes.

WHAT DO I DO AFTER MY SCAN?

  • The images of your scan will be examined by a radiologist and the results will be sent to your referring physician who will review the results with you.
  • You can request copies of your images on a CD-ROM or your report, by calling (805) 692-6435.

Find out about the CT of the neck.

Download and print the questionnaire and forms you may need to complete prior to your visit >

SCHEDULING INFORMATION:

Please call (805) 681-7671 to schedule your appointment.