Thursday, July 07, 2016

CT vs. MRI – What’s the Difference?

Has your doctor ever told you that you may need further testing with a CT scan or an MRI? Maybe you’re familiar with taking x-rays for broken bones, but what are CT scans and MRIs? And how are these two tests different?

Here we’ll explain how CT scans and MRIs work and why one may be better than the other depending on the medical issue and the patient.

What Is a CT Scan?

Computerized Axial Tomography, often shortened to CAT or CT Scan, uses rotating x-rays to generate images of the body. These tests are often recommended for diagnosing serious injuries or fractures to the head, chest, spine, abdomen, and pelvis. They may also be used to find the location and examine the size of tumors.

Radiation exposure can occur during CT scans and is not recommended for pregnant women or children unless absolutely necessary.

Advantages of a CT Scan

CT scans offer many advantages. The following are a few reasons why doctors may choose a CT scan over an MRI.

•  CT is great for viewing bone structures, soft tissue, and blood vessels at the same time.
•  CT scans are cheaper than MRI scans and take less time to complete. The process typically takes five minutes with only 30 seconds of actual scanning.
•  CT can be a more comfortable test for patients who are claustrophobic (although open MRIs are available).
•  CT is widely used for emergency rooms patients.
•  Patients with cardiac monitors, pacemakers, and certain metallic fragments or surgical clips cannot have an MRI, but they can have a CT scan.

What Is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, uses powerful magnets and pulsing radio waves to collect images. An MRI is best used for collecting soft tissue images.

MRI is more versatile than CT and can be used to examine a wide range of health conditions. An MRI scan may take 10-15 minutes to complete or can take as long as two hours.

Advantages of an MRI

MRIs offer different advantages than CT scans. The following area few important advantages.

•  MRI scans offer better detail for soft tissue structures, spinal cord injuries, brain tumors, and ligament or tendon injuries.
•  MRI uses a magnetic field to build an image without the use of radiation. Radiation exposure is not a concern when getting an MRI.
•  With MRI, the imaging plane can be changed without moving the patient.
•  The contrast agent used in MRI does not contain iodine.
•  MRI offers the ability to adjust the sharpness of black, white, and gray images by making subtle changes to the magnetic fields and radio waves. These different settings can highlight many types of tissue.

When scheduling a CT scan or an MRI, it’s crucial to choose professional, trained doctors and nurses who use the latest technology and offer quality healthcare services. Vidius Healthcare Solutions offers doctors and clinics innovative radiology IT solutions and services so you always get the experience you deserve.

This is a guest blog post.

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