CT Scan vs MRI

The difference between CT scan and MRI.

Posted on 12/4/2009 9:44:30 PM

Both are diagnostic tools to none surgically look inside the body. CT scan and MRI have revolutionised the manner in which the diseases can be diagnosed. Each one has a different place in the medical field, they work on a somewhat similar manner and so it is essential to know how significantly the two differ.

CT scan and MRI are said to be a great asset in the field of medicine today. These two methods of diagnostic testing are helpful in examining the various diseases in different parts of the body. In both these techniques the patient is placed in a large machine and pictures are taken of the desired area.

Understanding CT scan- in this the patient is made to lie on a table that goes inside the scanning machine. A number of pictures are taken by the machine which is examined later on. CAT scan makes use of X-ray machines and a dye is inserted in the vein of the arms.

Understanding MRI- MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. In this, the patient is made to lie on a table which slides in to a machine.MRI makes use of strong radio waves which in turn relay the information to the linked computer and pictures are taken out.

MRI and CT scan difference- In case of CT scan, the principal used in imaging is X-rays; the MRI uses magnets and radio waves to create the images. The time taken for MRI is usually 30-45 minutes, a CT scan may take about 10-15 minutes. The cost also varies, while for MRI the cost may range from $1200- $4000, the CT scan may cost around $1200- $3200 and is thus less expensive.

The negative point with CT scan is that it makes uses of radiation which in the long run may harm the body; this however is not the case with MRI. MRI is also able to provide a detailed and clearer image of the body; it is more clear and concise and is more preferred than CT scan.

Specific areas of diagnosis-For purpose of tumour detection and identification, MRI is considered more effective.MRI is best suited to examine tissues with a lot of water content. Organs and muscles which basically are soft tissues can be easily seen on an MRI but when it comes to dense organs like bones then CT scan is preferred. While CT scan is best at looking at recent internal bleeding, MRI is excellent for old deteriorated tissues.

Any injury in tendons and ligaments around the knee and shoulder, spinal cord, elbow or wrist can best be seen in MRI while broken bones, organ tear are seen best in a CT scan. In case of lungs and chest, CT scan is used for analysing the problem and not MRI. Thus both have their specific body areas in which they help in diagnosing the problem.

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