CT Scans and MRI Scans – What is the Difference

Sometimes, your doctor may ask you to undergo a CT scan or MRI scan to get a clear picture of the health of your internal organs, tissues, nervous and skeletal structure. Based on the readings of the scan report, your doctor may then prescribe the appropriate medication for you. From a layman’s point of view, you might already know that a CT scan and MRI are used to capture images of your internal organs.  However, what’s the difference between the two, and when do doctors recommend you to get these from CT scan centres in Bangalore or elsewhere? Keep reading to know more about this.

CT scans and MRI scans – Basic differences explained

MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging, and CT stands for computed tomography. While both these types of scans are used to capture images of your internal organs, the way it does this process is different, and that’s the basic difference between CT and MRI scans.

CT scans make use of X-rays to capture images of the internal organs. The MRI scans, on the other hand, use radio waves for the same process.

MRIs – What are they and when are they typically used?

MRIs use radio waves and magnets to transmit images of the internal body. A doctor then studies these images in great detail to diagnose the issue correctly. You will be asked to lie still when you undergo the MRI process. In some hospitals, patients are given headphones so that they don’t disturbed due to the loud noise of the MRI machine. Usually, doctors recommended an MRI scan to study the internal images of breasts, blood vessels, heart, brain, joints, wrist and ankles. When you visit the best diagnostic centre Bangalore, you will be briefed thoroughly on the entire process of MRI scans, so that you don’t feel any panic or pressure. This way you can stay relaxed throughout the duration of the scan.

CT scans – What are they and when are they typically used?

CT scans resemble more of a big X-ray machine. It uses X-rays to get internal images of the body. Though CT scans are quite extensively recommended by doctors today, their images are not as clear or as detailed as the ones captured by MRIs. In most of the CT scan centres in Bangalore and elsewhere, you will be first asked to lie down on a table. The CT machine is one place, while the table, moves through this machine to get the images of your internal organs. CT scans are typically used to monitor issues like fractures, cancers, tumours, internal bleeding and the like.

When does the doctor recommend these?

MRI scans provide clearer and more accurate images than CT scans. So, doctors usually recommend these to check for abnormalities in tissues, ligaments, herniated disks, or other internal organs. However, a doctor may recommend a CT scan for issues like fractures, trauma-related injuries and the like.

Risks associated with CT scans and MRI scans

The good thing is that both CT scans and MRI scans come with very minimal risks. As a responsible patient, you should inform your doctor in advance, if you have any implants in your body (such as pacemakers, eye implants, artificial joint replacements and more), especially if you have been advised to go for an MRI scan.  Since CT scans use X-rays to capture images, they come with a slight risk of radiation exposure; however, it doesn’t lead to any health hazards. Risks associated with MRI scans include patients getting afraid because of the loud noise of the machines, patient’s body getting hot during a long MRI process and claustrophobia (fear of remaining in a closed atmosphere for a long time).

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