What is the difference between an MRI or a CT?

What is the difference between an MRI or a CT?

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You are told by your doctor that you will need a scan. Immediately, images of large machines fill your head. Do you really know what you are getting when you order a CT scan or an MRI? It is easy to confuse the two, especially if you have never had CT imaging or MRI done before. From your point of view, from the table, there’s a huge difference! This video will explain what each type scan looks like, how it works, and why it is used. This will help you know what to expect before you arrive at your appointment for imaging.

What is an X-ray?

X-ray uses very little radiation to take a single picture of your anatomy. This is used to diagnose injury (fractures, dislocations or injuries) and disease (bone degeneration or infections, tumors or cancer). Dense objects such as bones block radiation and make the X-ray image appear white. Radiologists examine the images and prepare a report that includes their findings. This aids in diagnosing.

The following are the benefits of X-rays:

Assessment of injury (see X-ray scan of the hand to right). Offering a low-cost first-look exam

What is a CT/CAT scan?

Are you curious about the differences between a CT scan and a CAT scan? It’s nothing! Both are the same thing, and they can be used interchangeably. Traci says that a CT scan is a must if you have a CT. She has never seen a patient refuse a CT scan in all the years she has been scanning.

“Some patients may feel uncomfortable in certain positions, but we are able to scan them so quickly that it has never been a problem.” It is so easy that many people are relieved.  are you someone who is facing erectile dysfunction? Fildena 200 is the best solution for your treatment. The main active element of Fildena 200 mg is Sildenafil Citrate that improves blood flow in the penis

CT, in layman’s terms is an X-ray machine connected to a computer. A pencil-thin beam scans your body from the side and takes cross-sectional pictures. Traci explains how the beam rotates around you and takes images of you, much like a loaf.

Clear images can be captured by CT using radiation. CDI does everything possible to ensure you get the lowest radiation dose while still getting high quality images. Click here to learn more. Traci claims that most patients are relieved by the CT scan.

It’s difficult to feel concerned when I tell the patient that I will ask them to remain still for 3 minutes before I pull you out. The whole worry disappears, I believe.

CT is great for:

Image bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels simultaneously

Pinpointing bony structures (injuries).

Evaluation of chest and lung issues (see the lung scan image to right).

Cancer detection

Imagine patients with metal (no magnet).

What is an MRI Scan?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRI uses a strong magnetic field, radio frequency pulses, and a computer to create images of your organs, soft tissues, and internal structures. You will lie down on a table and slide into the machine as a patient. Traditionally, the space in which you would enter the MRI machine was a tunnel or tube. However, there are now many options, including the Wide-bore MRI (or Open MRI) machines that give you more breathing space during your exam. 

The coil is another component of the MR equipment. The coil is an antenna that transmits radio frequency pulses to the machine and collects images of specific parts of your body. It could be a frame that snaps around your head or shoulders, it could be placed on the table before allowing you to lie down or wrapped with Velcro around any body part being scanned. To find out more about coils, and to see how they look, click here. Traci explains the process of an MR scan of your shoulder using a coil:

“We will place your shoulder in that coil. Between the radio frequency and the strong magnetic field and the coil which acts as an antenna we are going to create images of the soft tissues and bone with MRI. MR scans may not be the right one for you. An MR scan might not be appropriate if you have had any metal implants in your body such as a pacemaker or a spinal cord stimulator. You can take some of the more recent implants into an MRI scanner. However, you will be asked many questions once you make your appointment. The safety of orthopedic metal (such as a rod in a shoulder or hip) is guaranteed.

The following are the benefits of MRI:

Images of organs, soft tissues and internal structures (see the spine scan image to right)

Tissue difference between normal tissue and abnormal

Without radiation imaging

What is the difference between an Open MRI and a Closed MRI?

It is quite easy to tell the difference between an open MRI and a closed MRI. But let’s first talk about the closed MRI. Closed MRIs are machines that take detailed images of your anatomy inside a cylindrical container with a bore diameter of approximately 60 cm. Depending on how strong the magnet (also called tesla), the procedure may take up to 90 minutes.

Open MRIs were created in order to provide an alternative for patients with anxiety, claustrophobia, or obesity. They are shorter and more detailed than closed MRIs. Although the open MRI is able to provide comfort, it doesn’t offer the same level detail as a closed MRI. You can see an example of a close MRI and an open MRI to the left.

Understanding the differences between MRI and CT

The differences between CT and MRI can be illustrated in a chart to help you see how they differ. A major difference is the shape of the machine. CT is described as a “donut”, while Traci says that the MR machine looks more like a “tanning table”. MR uses radiation, CT does not. The typical scan takes about 30 minutes. A typical CT scan can take 5 minutes, while a MRI will take 30 minutes. A CT scan is good for looking at small fractures or organs, but an MRI is more effective for looking at soft tissues like your brain. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your scan. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and will make sure that you feel comfortable during, and after, your appointment. 

Guiding You in Your Care

Our expert team of radiologists and clinical assistants is an expert in imaging. These experts can assist your provider in choosing the best technology for you exam based on your individual situation. Our mission is to offer the best imaging services, the right procedure at the right time and accurate results for every patient.

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