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Danbury, TX
A 42-year-old female asked:

I have been having lightheadedness for a while. would a ct of head and an mri with contrast of brain detect blockages in arteries?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ryan Polselli
Radiology 15 years experience
No: Assuming the other more common causes of lightheadedness such as medication, etc. Have been excluded...A cta (ct angiogram) of the head and neck should show any arterial narrowing/blockage. An mra of the head and neck (no contrast) will similarly show arterial narrowing. Ct head without contrast will only show calcific atherosclerosis and MRI brain with contrast is not used to evaluate arteries.
Dr. Ryan Polselli
Radiology 15 years experience
Provided original answer
Let me clarify one thing I know will cause confustion...the MRA uses special imaging sequences that do not require contrast to see blood flow in the vessels (See image). Contrast may still be given at some institutions. I hope this helps answer your questions.
Nov 16, 2013
Dr. Edward Schmidt
Radiology 35 years experience
Might, but has high : Head ct/mr may should arterial blockage. Would be better seen with brain mra.
Dr. Lotfi Hacein-Bey
Radiology 40 years experience
Consult with MD: You should consult with your doctor. At your age, there are several causes for lightheadedness. Your blood pressure, heart, and possibly your brain may need to be evaluated. Lalso, that could be caused by medications you may be on. Talk to your doctor.

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Last updated Jun 10, 2014

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