Difference between MRI and CT scan

It seems baffling to people when the doctor suggests to go for a Diagnostic imaging scan.The only idea people seem to have is that it is a scan that is related to the diagnosis of health condition. The two clear winners among the scans in terms of popularity as made evident by the doctors areCT scans and MRI’s.CT stands for Computerized Tomography while MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Here we shall draw a clear line between these two scans since these two are completely different.

Here are the basic Differences between an MRI and a CT scan:

  • MRI and CT scan
  • A CT is often referred to a CAT scan or Computerized Axial Tomography, more clearly. Typically, it is used for chest imaging, bone injuries, lung imaging, and cancer detection. Since it is relatively fast, these scans are used for emergency procedures.

    On the other hand, an MRI is used to generate internal images of soft tissue such as ligaments, tendons, spinal cord, brain tumors, etc. It is slower and takes up to minutes. It is generally costlier than CT scans or any other x-rays. However, MRI’s are preferable since they do not make use of any potentially harmful radiation.

  • Working of machines:
  • CT scans and MRI scans both scan similar body areas to detect injuries and internal pain, but the technology adopted is different. Thus, the details recorded in each case are also different.

    A magnet is typically used by MRI machines to send radio waves to analyze the energy generated by the water molecules that re-align themselves as a result of each pulse of radio waves. The 2D image of the axis of the body is created by the data. Usually, a black space is created wherever there are bones. This is because there is no water in the bones due to which they are generate an image of bones.

    On the other hand, CT machines follow a different mechanism to create the image. They necessarily use x-ray waves that rotate around the patient, sending waves towards the “x-ray detector” that lies on the other side of the patient. The beam passes through the patient with the detector receiving the image. This way the detector measures the beam strength at a rate of 1000 times per second. The image is created by the comparisons of the beams.

  • Their uses:
  • MRI’s create intricate images by using magnetic field and radio waves. It facilitates radiologists and doctors tomonitorbody organs and tissues. MRI’s are mainly used for the purpose ofidentifying any concern related to bleeding or swelling surrounding a particular region. They also detect any abnormalities in the part being examined. These scans help in the diagnosis or monitoring the treatment for:

    1. Tumors and cysts
    2. Specific types of heart related issues
    3. Disease of the liver, bile ducts, gallbladder, and pancreas
    4. Pelvic pain in females such as endometriosis

 
MRIs mainly stress on the minute differences in soft tissues. It is prevalently helpful in the diagnosis of tumors, heart problems, blood vessel blockages and liver related diseases. MRI scans can be performed more frequently since radiation is not used.
 
CT scans, on the other hand, are mainly used to diagnose people who suffer internal injuries from a fearful accident or any other traumatic incident. These scans can come into play while visualizing different body parts. Thus, it assists in the diagnosis of diseases and injuries. These scans are mainly used to obtain X-rays for bones, soft tissues and blood vessels in cross sections from different angles. Your doctor recommends you a CT scan to check:

  1. Traumatic conditions
  2. Chest evaluation
  3. Changes in soft tissue that is involved in the spread of a disease.
  4. Fractures or broken bones
  5. Fever or pain with an unknown origin
  6. Function of heart, kidneys or liver.

For a CT scan, you should drink a contrast agent a couple of hours before your scan. This liquid might be chalky-tasting that effectively augments the body structures and fluids. This makes the CT images clearer and more readable.

Here are the major advantages of MRI over CT scan:

  • No side effects
  • A CAT scan makes use of X-rays to generate images. But, MRI uses a magnetic field to create the same. So there are no complications related to radiation exposure.

  • More detailed
  • MRI provides more specific details in case of diagnosing soft tissues.

  • Alteration of the image contrast
  • It is perhaps the most significant advantage of MRI. It has the ability to change the contrast of the images. The image contrast can be changed by minute changes in radio waves and magnetic fields.This makes the results more clear as different contrast settings signify different types of tissues.

  • Producing image in any plane
  • MRI displays the ability to change the imaging plane without moving the patient. Thus, these machines can generate images in any plane.

  • Safer option
  • Though Contrast agents are also used in case of MRI scans, but they are not comprised of iodine. Reactions to MRI contrast are almost negligible as compared to those of CT scans. Thus, MRIs are regarded as much safer as compared to X-ray dyes.

  • Higher quality
  • In cases pertaining to tumor detection and identification, MRI is better regarded since it produces a finer quality of image. But, CT usually is relatively more easily available, faster and less expensive. It hardly requires the person to be sedated or anesthetized.

  • No allergy reactions
  • In case of CT scans, contrast agents are used that contain elements of a higher atomic number than the surrounding flesh. Elements like iodine or barium is used. Contrary to this, the contrast agents for MRI have paramagnetic properties. An element that is mainly used is gadolinium. The use of iodinemay result into allergic reactions.

Though CT scan and MRI’s are different and follow different mechanisms, doctors and radiologists predominantly use these diagnostic imaging scans to diagnose and help their patients in a timely manner. We, at Imaging Central, believe in providing you with the best in diagnostic imaging. We offer fine-quality CT scans and MRI’sboth at Imaging Central.