List of Contents
MRI of the Vessels
In our Institute for Preventive Medicine in Witten the whole-body magnetic resonance tomography provides high resolution anatomical and functional imaging of the blood vessels. Pathological changes caused by tumors, deposits or inflammation are optimally visualised.
The condition of the blood vessels is shown in a detailed manner, which means that even minor vascular changes can be detected and treated if necessary.
Arteriosclerosis/ Stenoses/ Peripheral Artery Occlusive Disease/ Vascular Erectile Dysfunction
Arteriosclerosis (see also “MRI of the head/brain“) is a vascular disease in which the blood flow in the vessel is impaired by fat-protein plaques or calcifications.
The smallest deposits in the vessels can be detected with the MRI before critical stenoses occur, which would significantly impede the blood flow. In serious cases this can lead to the occlusion of the vessel. Then, the optimal circulation of the affected tissue areas is no longer guaranteed. It might cause a heart attack or stroke.
In addition, the deposits on the inner walls of the vessels can be ruptured. Blood clots form, which can also lead to the occlusion of a vessel.
Especially, patients who smoke, have high blood pressure, are suffering from diabetes or have high blood lipid levels show a high risk of developing arteriosclerosis.
In this context, the MRI diagnosis of the peripheral artery occlusive disease (PAOD) is also to be observed, which represents a circulatory disorder of the legs. Affected patients complain about aching legs and are extremely restricted in their ability to move. Since the first tight of the leg arteries can already be detected in the MRI, early therapy measures are possible, which can prevent further progression of the PAOD.
Pathological changes in blood vessels can also cause vascular erectile dysfunction. On the one hand, the blood flow to the penis may be restricted due to arteriosclerosis, on the other hand, a pathologically increased venous drainage can lead to erectile dysfunction as well.
When we talk about aneurysms, we refer to pathological extensions or bulges of the arteries (see also chapter “MRI of the head/brain“). In the worst case, these can lead to a rupture of the blood vessel wall, followed by bleeding into the tissues. There may be life-threatening situations. A ruptured aneurysm of the brain must be operated immediately.
The risk factors for the development of aneurysms include high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis.
The MRI enables us to depict the earliest stages of aneurysms and measure their shape, location and size. Moreover, we can make statements about their operability.
Vascular anomalies (vascular malformations) often show up as vascular deformation deviating from the “standard“ or as a modified vascular volume (see also chapter “MRI of the head/brain“).
First of all, we need to assess, by means of MRI imaging, the vasculose anomalies’ characteristics and whether, for example, there is a risk due to the diagnosed malformation prior to planned surgical interventions.
An example of such a vascular anomaly is the morbid expansion of the blood vessels (Osler’ s disease). The misformed vessels can be detected in the intestines, in the lungs, liver and in the brain. Because of these malformations embolism (occlusion of a vein by a blood clot) or abscesses might occur. The whole-body MRI provides important data, which can be taken into account for further therapy.
Vascular malformations are a heterogeneous group of diseases. Only a clear and correct diagnosis can lead to optimal therapy results. MRI is an excellent tool for visualisation of the different vascular anomalies.
We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about whole-body magnetic resonance imaging of the vessels.