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6 Ways a CT is Different than an MRI

By DuPage Medical Group Radiology

CTs and MRIs are both considered advanced diagnostic exams, but do you know the difference? According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients undergo an average of just over one imaging examination, such as an X-ray, each year. A little over one-third were advanced diagnostic imaging tests such as CT, MRI, nuclear medicine or ultrasound.

With this equipment getting more and more accurate and useful over time they are being used more often in diagnosis. Learn 6 ways that an MRI is different than a CT.

  1. Images in CT are obtained through the use of X-rays, MRI uses magnets and radio waves.
  2. A CT scanner is generally much less confining than MRI. It looks more like a donut shape rather than a long tube.
  3. Scan times are usually much shorter for CT scans.
  4. CT machines are typically much quieter than MRI scanners.
  5. A CT scan will not affect cell phones or credit cards. Any metal not in the area being scanned does not need to be removed.
  6. A CT is preferred for imaging bone injuries, detecting cancers, and diagnosing lung conditions. MRI is better at examining soft tissues and ligaments, spinal cord and disc problems, and brain tumors.

Topics and Subtopics: Diagnostic Testing & Radiology

Learn more about:
Radiology CT MRI
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