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At UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, we believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of this test and invite you to participate. Please read the following information to learn about the scan and how you can help.
Magnetic resonance (REZ-oh-nentz) angiography (an-gee-OG-gruff-ee) or MRA is done with the same equipment as magnetic resonance imaging or MRI. While an MRI machine uses powerful magnets, invisible radio waves and a computer to scan the body and take pictures of organs and other structures, MRA uses that same machine to take clear, detailed pictures of the blood vessels.
You may want to bring along a “comfort” item—such as a favorite stuffed animal or “blankie”—for your child to hold during the scan.
If the area of the body being scanned is above the shoulders, your child should not wear any makeup, jewelry or hair accessories or use any hair products, such as mousse, gel or hairspray, as they may affect the scan.
Depending on what part of your child’s body is being scanned, there may be other important instructions on things to do or not do the day before and the day of your child’s MRA scan. Please follow the specific instructions given to you by your doctor before the scan.
If your child is having sedation, there are important rules for eating and drinking that must be followed in the hours before the test. One business day before your child’s scan, you will receive a phone call from a nurse. Please have paper and a pen ready to write down these important instructions.
For children older than 12 months:
For infants under 12 months:
For all children:
Upon registration at the Division of Pediatric Neurology at Children’s Hospital, you will be given directions to the MRI Center. The MRI Center itself is located at Presbyterian University Hospital, which is directly connected to Children’s Hospital. One parent or guardian is welcome to stay with your child in the exam room and scanner room during this test.
Your child’s scan will be done by an MRI technologist who is specially trained to do scans on children. The results of the scan will be read by the pediatric radiology doctors at the Department of Pediatric Radiology at Children’s Hospital and then reported to the neurology doctors at the Division of Pediatric Neurology at Children’s Hospital.
Prior to the test, your child will be screened for any metal inside or outside his or her body. If your child’s clothing contains metal, such as zippers or rivets, he or she may be asked to change into a hospital gown. You and your child will be able to keep any personal belongings that contain metal in a secure locker during the scan.
In the scan room will be the MRI machine. You will see a long table that will slide into the tube-shaped or tunnel-like scanner where the camera is located.
We welcome your help and support during this scan. One parent or guardian is invited to join your child in the exam room and scan room. Other adults and children must stay in the waiting area. If your child will be having sedation, you will be asked as the parent or legal guardian to sign a consent form before the sedation is given.
A pediatric neuroradiology doctor will look at and interpret the MRA scan, and a report of your child’s scan will be sent to the doctor who ordered it, usually within 48 hours. If the results are urgent, the referring doctor will be contacted immediately.
If your child has any special needs or health issues you feel the doctor performing the scan needs to know about, please call the Department of Pediatric Neurology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh before the scan and ask to speak with a nurse. It is important to notify us in advance about any special needs.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.