Indications for CTA versus MRA for pulmonary vascular imaging

What are the indications for computed tomography angiography (CTA) versus magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) for pulmonary vascular imaging?

Both CTA and MRA demonstrate high sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of pulmonary vascular diseases including acute and chronic pulmonary embolism (PE), pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary arterial aneurysm, pulmonary arteriovenous malformation (AVM), and partial or total anomalous pulmonary venous return.

Unlike catheter angiography or echocardiography, CTA is noninvasive and is not limited by body habitus, air, or bone in terms of obtaining an acoustic window. MRA does not utilize iodinated contrast material and does not involve ionizing radiation. Thus, MRA is especially suitable for imaging children, women of childbearing age, or patients with allergies or other contraindications to iodinated contrast material.


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