Difference between MRI and CT Scan

Difference between MRI and CT Scan

MRI and CT scans are imaging methods that are used to diagnose a variety of medical conditions. These are done to get detailed images of the inside structure of the body. The major difference between them is that MRI uses radio waves and CT Scan uses X-rays to generate images. Although both carry low risk but certain points differentiate between them and make them stand out depending on the circumstance. So, let’s have a look at the various point of difference between MRI and CT scan.

What is MRI?

MRI is an imaging technique that uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves, and a computer to generate images of the inside structure of the body. It is used to diagnose problems with various parts such as –
Blood vessels
This is a loud machine and you would need earplugs to make the noise bearable.

Mri, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Diagnostics, Hospital

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What is CT Scan?

CT Scans make use of rotational X-Rays to create cross-sectional images of the inside structure of the body. It is also known as CAT Scans. These are used in conditions like –
Monitoring cancer
Fracture in the bone
Internal bleeding

MRI vs. CT Scan

Though both perform almost the same function but CT Scan is more widely used as compared to
MRI is less expensive. One of the notable differences is that MRIs don’t use X-Rays while CT Scans do.
Other than this differences are in the form of risks and benefits.

Risks in CT Scan –

These are harmful to unborn babies.
There are chances of reactions due to the use of dyes.
It involves radiation exposure.

Risks in MRI –

The rise in body temperature
Loud noise from the machine
Chances of reactions to metals
You should inform your doctor in case you have implants, a pacemaker, artificial joints, etc.

Benefits –

CT Scan helps to get images of the tissues, organs, and skeletal structure of the body and is a faster process. Whereas, MRI provides a more detailed and clearer image of the organs and the inside structure.

Are they safe?

CT scan uses a small amount of radiation and there is a possibility that it may cause an allergic reaction. While MRI does not use radiation but the magnets may react to the metals.
MRI and CT scan are two different imaging methods and the doctor will advise you which test you need to undergo according to your symptoms and conditions.


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