Difference between MRI and MRA
By Theydiffer - September 28, 2015

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is the advanced method of scanning human tissues, and MRA, or magnetic resonance angiogram is a scanning procedure designed to target blood vessels of the human organism specifically. While both MRI and MRA use similar magnetic fields-related technology, there are some differences between the two types of scanning.


MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is an advanced method of scanning the soft tissues of the human organism. The resulting scans allow investigation of the pathological tissues in great detail due to the fine quality of the image.

Getty Images/iStock/Sergey Ulanov

MRA, or magnetic resonance angiogram, is a scanning procedure that targets blood vessels in the human body. MRA utilizes magnetic fields and also radio waves. The resulting images help specialists in understanding what is wrong with blood flow in the selected regions of the human body.

Comparison chart

Helps in diagnosis of soft tissues of human bodyDesigned for diagnosis of blood vessels
Expensive. May cost up to $4000Usually costs around $1000


What is the difference between MRI and MRA? Let’s compare the two methods of scanning in terms of application and costs.

  • MRI is the finest technique available for understanding what is going on in the soft tissues of the human organism. These include the brain, ligaments, tendons and many other areas of the human body. MRA scanning is focused specifically on blood vessels. For example, MRA helps in detecting undesired clots and bulges in the blood vessels.
  • Both technologies’ costs start from $1000. However, due to the variety of applications, MRI may cost up to $4000 in some cases. The price of an MRA procedure is around $1000. MRA may cost a bit more if there is a dye required.