What is the role of MRA in cardiac assessment?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Richard S Krause, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Answer

Cardiac magnetic resonance angiography (cMRA) allows visualization of coronary vessels without radiation or contrast dye. However, with contrast medium and the addition of vasodilators or dobutamine, cMRA can be used to assess myocardial viability as well. By synchronizing image acquisition with the patient's cardiac cycle, new protocols allow the patient to breathe during the test. Although cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)/MRA continues to evolve, it shows promise as the only imaging modality that can combine angiography with perfusion and wall-motion assessments.

A 2010 study on the use of stress MRI in an observation unit compared to routine inpatient care in a group of non–low-risk patients reported that 30-day outcomes were the same in both the admitted group and the observation/MRI patients. [37] However, observation/MRI patients had significantly lower costs ($336-$811; 95% CI).


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