What's The Difference Between An MRI & A CT Scan?

what's the difference between an MRI and a CT scan, what is an MRI, what is a CT scan

Chances are in your lifetime you’ve gotten some sort of diagnostic imaging, usually in the form of a simple x-ray. Whether it was for an injury or preventative like x-rays of your mouth at the dentist, imaging has likely been a part of your life whether or not you realize it.

But there are many different useful imaging techniques used to diagnose and treat ailments, including the MRI and CT Scan. Both MRI and CT Scans are diagnostic tools used to help medical professionals get a glimpse inside before they make their diagnosis. Though the end goal is the same, each imaging method goes about achieving it in different ways. Let’s take a look at MRIs and CT Scans and how they are fundamentally different in the world of diagnostic imaging.

What is an MRI?

 MRI stands for Magnetic resonance imaging and refers to a diagnostic test that uses magnets and radio waves to create pictures inside your body that are then sent to a computer. Unlike other forms of diagnostic imaging, an MRI doesn’t make use of radiation.  

How’s it used? 

MRIs are used to help a physician diagnose an injury or a disease, and can also be used to monitor how your body is responding to your prescribed treatment plan after a diagnosis.

What is a CT Scan?

Also referred to as a CAT Scan, a CT Scan uses x-rays and a computer to create pictures of your tissues, organs and bones to allow doctors to see inside your body and properly diagnose disease or injury. Using an x-ray beam that circles specific parts of your body, a CT Scan is able to display detailed images of your body from different angles.

How’s it used?

CT Scans are normally used to diagnose bone fractures, cancers, internal bleeding tumors, and more.  

MRI vs. CT Scan

The first main difference between an MRI and CT Scan is that MRIs do not make use of radiation to create imaging. Another difference is cost. CT Scans are typically less expensive and more widely used than MRIs, though MRIs tend to put out a better image quality. Another difference is their risk factors. CT Scans have different risks than MRIs because of the radiation component, though MRIs have their own set of risks based on the use of magnets.

Whether you need an MRI, CT Scan or a simple x-ray, the specialists at Bay Imaging Consultants are dedicated to providing the most advanced and safest diagnostic imaging options in the area.