CT vs. MRI Scans: Everything You Should Know About Medical Tests

MRI and CT scans are two kinds of medical imaging methods used to create detailed images of body parts like organs, joints, and bones. Doctors order these scans for diagnosing various medical conditions. Although these scans have similar uses, the images are generated using different methods. So, if you are looking for CT scan centers near me or MRI scan near me on the internet today, here are some aspects that you should know about them.

CT Scan vs. MRI Scan: What’s the difference?

A CT scan is conducted with X-rays for creating detailed pictures of tissues, bones, and organs. The patient is made to lie down on a table and then move through the scanning ring. All bodily data is collected and assembled in a three-dimensional image. These images can be used for revealing abnormalities in soft tissues and bones, bone fractures, tumors, and even pneumonia in the lungs.

Whereas MRI scan also helps create detailed pictures of internal body organs, it uses a powerful magnet or radio waves to generate these pictures. The machine used for MRI scans is thicker, and the images can portray the difference between diseased and normal tissue.

MRI and CT Scan Diagnosis: What are their uses?

Here is a list of conditions and diseases that can be diagnosed through a CT scan:

  • Evaluating facial trauma and head trauma in patients.
  • Takes brain images for differentiating between a hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke.
  • Determining the diagnosis of pain in the internal organs like the colon, small bowel, pelvis, and other abdominal pain.
  • Determining the causes of unexplained pain.
  • You can also look for CT scan centers near me on the internet to detect traumatic injuries like fractures in bones.
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Besides this, MRI scans can be used to produce detailed pictures of different features like ligaments, soft tissues, and organs that are difficult to produce through a CT scan. For example, an MRI scan can generate a more detailed image that can detect a herniated disc in the lumbar spine, which can be challenging to detect through a CT scan.

How To Choose The Right Scan?

CT and MRI scans have very similar uses. Therefore, there are various factors that a doctor decides when they prescribe a scan to their patient. These factors include:

  • Whether the patient has claustrophobia or other similar fears, such challenges can make it difficult to conduct an MRI scan.
  • Whether the patient is pregnant.
  • The extent of details needed in the image.
  • The reason for conducting the scan.

How Safe Are These Scans?

Both MRI scans and CT scans are very safe procedures. However, both may pose a slight risk depending on the individual scan type.

The patient will receive small doses of ionizing radiation that may affect biological tissues. However, doctors do not consider this radiation harmful. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering stated that the risk of getting cancer due to this radiation is relatively low.

Therefore, doctors usually recommend MRI scans for pregnant patients as there is no radiation involved in that method. Nevertheless, MRI scans are conducted through strong magnetic fields, which can pose challenges for patients with medical implants like cochlear implants, insulin pumps, or pacemakers. However, patients have to wear headphones or earplugs to dull the loud sounds produced by MRI scans. Besides that, people with claustrophobia can even opt for open MRI scanners to tolerate the scanning process.

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Wrapping Up

Now that you know the basics of CT scans and MRI scans, you can now peacefully look for CT scan centers near me or MRI scan near me on the internet and book your test. However, if you have any further concerns, you should always discuss them with your primary care before taking the test.