CT Scans VS MRIs: What Are the Differences, Advantages, and Risks?

Neuroimaging is a common process often used for visualizing different parts of the human brain or the nervous system itself to either confirm or put away the suspicions of a neurologist. CT Scans and MRIs are the two popular neuroimaging tools most medical professionals use when treating a patient with a suspect of neural disease.

To speak metaphorically, an MRI is more of a professional and expensive treatment than a CT scan, which is a low-cost, disposable camera. The comparison is also very relevant because MRI usually costs much higher than regular CT scans.

Well, the difference in pricing does not really reflect that MRI is better than CT scan.  However, most people consider MRI as their first choice because of the high-quality imaging it is capable of producing. But that certainly represents the lack of understanding regarding these technologies, concerning both the shortcomings and possibilities.

Comparing MRIs & CT scans :

Comparing them broadly, we have come upon the three main areas where the two neuroimaging technologies differ from each other. They can be described as follows –

CT scans Took Place Quicker Than an MRI – 

An MRI takes an estimated forty-five minutes to produce outcomes, while a CT scan may only take up to ten minutes for competition. The time it takes for an MRI to complete (such as a serious patient with intracranial hemorrhage), the person could die or get crucially injured. Also, MRI requires the patient to be still throughout the long forty-five minutes (difficult to handle in emergencies). Thence, CT scans are most likely to be the preferable choice in such emergencies.

Versatile Specialties in Diagnosis – 

There are medical conditions where a CT scan could determine abnormalities much easier in comparison to MRI, such as bone fractures and acute bleeding, etc. While an MRI could perform the best when detecting subtle lesions such as acoustic neuromas, multiple sclerosis plaques, or astrocytomas, etc.

None of them has a poor detecting quality, but they have their specialties, different from each other yet effective for the diagnostics industry on whole. 

Imaging Quality – 

Both MRI and CT scan technologies have been designed with the primary objective of quality neuroimaging. However, both of them might face problems with the imaging quality because of different reasons. 

For example, MRIs are likely to create images via strong magnetic waves. Thence, there’s a chance that some non-compatible devices or metal implants might interfere with the waves and cause image distortion. 

In contrast, a CT scan uses beams of radiation to create an image that could be scattered because of dense bones (maybe around a bone stem at times) – leading to the formation of an unlikely picture – that is not readable or impossible to be interpreted.  

How Are CT scans and MRIs Beneficial for The Diagnostics Industry?

MRI, an abbreviation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is a technology introduced to produce high-quality, clear images. In medical situations when the doctors need to analyze soft tissues inside the human body, MRI imaging comes handier than regular x-rays or CT scans. Therefore, MRIs are highly beneficial when the doctors need a view inside organs and soft tissues such as herniated discs and torn ligaments.

In comparison to MRIs, CT scans also come up with several great benefits for the diagnostics industry. For the patients heavier in weight and size, for whom it’s difficult to adjust in a traditional MRI setting, CT scans could be more of a comfortable technology with their open design and infrastructure. Because the diagnosis span of CT scans is much quicker than that of MRIs, most medical professionals are likely to opt for the former unless it’s a serious case where the soft tissues need to be studied and analyzed.

In addition, CT scans are found incredibly helpful in diagnosing the cause of stroke. The efficiency it showcases in undermining the exact reason whether the stroke occurred, either because of an artery blockage or the hemorrhage – there’s no match discovered yet in the diagnostics industry.

What Are the Risks Associated with Using MRIs & CT scans in Medical Imaging?

While both the neuroimaging techniques, CT scans, and MRIs, are highly beneficial for the diagnostics industry with guaranteed quality outcomes, they sure are known for posing certain risks at the same time.

CT scans are designed to capture rotating images via X-rays which is likely to produce a lot of radiation. Therefore, the exposure of radiation to the patients being scanned is much higher. There’ve been several types of research conducted which suggest that every one out of three hundred scanned patients, is likely to get cancer sometime later in life.

The medical professionals consider it more of a concern for the younger adults or children than the elders because cancer cells usually take years to manifest. Thence, doctors are less likely to prefer CT scans for children and young people while they do that for adults with much confidence.

By contrast, MRI uses a much stronger magnet for stimulating atoms in the human body. The scanner then detects these atoms to make the diagnosis successful. Thus, the crucial most risk associated with MRIs is that any ferromagnetic metal implant could become magnetic in the MRI’s influence and react with others pole-to-pole. That, in turn, could cause an implant to be overheated or displaced; posing risk to the patient’s safety and security. 

Although both MRIs and CT scans can be used for a patient indicated with pregnancy, the radiations exerting from a CT and dyes used in MRI might harm the fetus. The recent research, however, claims that the risk is pretty low.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have built a massive understanding of the differences between MRIs and CT scans, know how they are beneficial to the diagnostics industry and what risks they might come up with; it’s time to know where you may find the best quality services for MRI Edison NJ.

Well, we’ve got you covered with the utmost professional imaging staff and high-end equipment at AQMDI. So visit us today and get your doubts cleared with top-quality imaging outcomes.

Professional writer!





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