Choice of angiographic imaging modality: CTA vs. MRA

Valg av modalitet ved karundersøkelser: CTA vs. MRA


  • Maia Muri Skalmeraas Karolinska University Hospital
  • Eirin Ellingbø Karolinska University Hospital
  • Albertina Rusandu Norwegian University of Science and Technology



MRA, CTA, Modality choice,, Angiographic imaging


Keywords: MRA, CTA, Modality choice, Angiographic imaging



The aim of this study was to identify what factors determine the radiologist’s choice of vascular imaging modality. The radiographer is responsible for both performing the CTA or MRA procedure and for the justification of the exam. Therefore, knowledge about the rationale behind the choice of modality is relevant for radiographer. 



This mixed method study included a survey from a national perspective and a literature review from a global perspective. The questionnaire was sent to radiologists working at public hospitals in Norway. The literature review included searches in the databases Pubmed, Web of Science and Scopus, with the keywords “MRA and CTA”, “MRA vs CTA” and “MRA and CTA and decision”. 



A total of 38 radiologists responded to the survey, and 21 articles were included in the literature review. Availability, patient situation, image quality and diagnostic value, are important factors that influence the choice. An important finding is that the choice of modality depends on the pathology and its location. The referring physician’s preference is also taken into consideration when choosing the modality. 



The choice between the two modalities is usually based on the clinical indication and patient related factors. Factors related to the modality like radiation dose, examination time and availability also play a part but as technology quickly evolves it will also influence the imaging modality of choice.  Guidelines can be beneficial to expand the radiographer's competence. 

Author Biographies

Maia Muri Skalmeraas, Karolinska University Hospital

Karolinska University Hospital, Radiographer. 

Eirin Ellingbø, Karolinska University Hospital

Karolinska University Hospital, Radiographer.

Albertina Rusandu, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Associate Professor


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How to Cite

Skalmeraas, M. M., Ellingboe, E., & Rusandu, A. (2021). Choice of angiographic imaging modality: CTA vs. MRA: Valg av modalitet ved karundersøkelser: CTA vs. MRA. Radiography Open, 7(1), 34–53.




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