CT scan and MRI are a type of radiology imaging tests. Doctors need to see the images from inside of the body to diagnose the issue. These noninvasive methods of diagnosis have revolutionized the field of diagnostics and interventional medicine.
Coming a long way, both of the image tests essentially offer a similar service, however, the tests vary in technique, scope and application.
What is CT Scan?
Computed Tomography is used to get the images of the tissues as well as the bones. In this test, X-rays are shined on the surface to be examined from different angles. These are then joined together to produce a 3-D image, that makes it easier for the doctor to analyze the issue holistically.
CT scans are often conducted in trauma patients. They are utilized in cases of tumors, bone fractures and to locate internal bleeding. Cancer patients undergo CT scans periodically to monitor the growth of the cancer cells.
As CT scans use radiation, it should only be done from a reputable and certified lab. Therefore, be sure to contact the best place for CT scan in Lahore, as negligence in terms of radiation exposure can have grave implications.
Different parts of the body undergo this scan, including chest, pelvis and abdomen.
Conditions identified using CT scan:
CT scan is often used to identify heart disease, and any blockage in the vessels is also disclosed using it. Similarly, abnormalities in the abdomen like masses in the kidneys etc. are also diagnosed with the aid of CT scan.
Patients are also advised the scan when there is a case of urinary bleeding, lung issues like breathing problems, hemorrhaging in the brain and issues with blood flow to the parts of the brain are also checked by CT scan.
When x-ray presents an incomplete picture of the musculoskeletal system of the body, doctors also then recommend a CT scan.
What is MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, unlike a CT scan, uses magnetic rays to draft an image. This technology uses an interplay of radio and magnetic waves to produce an image. MRIs also play a pivotal role in the process of diagnosis.
MRI is also used for monitoring the disease, to gauge patient response to the treatment. MRI is also used for in cases of injuries, to gauge the extent of the problem. The image produced using MRI is high resolution, thereby greatly facilitating the doctor in the process of diagnosis.
Conditions identified using MRI
MRI is often used in the cancer diagnosis. It is also used in vascular problems, as the image enables doctors to locate any abnormalities. MRI is also conducted in issues pertaining to the GI tract, like ulcerative colitis.
Moreover, MRI is relied on for the diagnosis of problems ailing the brain, like stroke, aneurysm etc. Doctors also prescribe MRI when in the case of liver disease and bone disorders.
CT Scan Vs. MRI; the similarities
MRI and CT scans are often used to diagnose similar conditions. They are especially commonly used for cancer diagnosis and to monitor the disease.
Both methods are non-invasive and painless procedures. Whereas the machines used are different, the methodology is rather similar. In both cases, patients are to lay down on the machine bed, clad in a gown. The bed is rolled into the machine, where the test is conducted as the patient lays still.
CT Scan Vs. MRI; the differences
Whereas the purpose of the test is mostly the same, they also come with their tradeoffs. Patient and doctors then have to consider these to differences to decide on the test they would like to opt for. Salient points include:
MRIs tend to be more expensive to CT scans, by a large margin. Patients with budget constraints might find it harder to fund MRIs, especially in cases of frequent testing .
Timing of the test
CT scan tends to be quicker than an MRI. Since patient has to keep still in an MRI, with proper moderation of breathing as to not distort the image, timing can be a real sore point in the test. This is especially problematic for patients who are claustrophobic or get uncomfortable in small places.
MRI produces a finer and sharper image than CT. In cases where the doctor needs a more high-resolution image of the soft issue, an MRI is recommended.
MRI machine produces a lot of noise. Even with ear plugs, the noise can be significant enough to lead to hearing issues.
As magnetic rays used are rather strong, people cannot get the test done if they have metal implants, or artificial joints. Pacemaker, IUD and eye implants also make it impossible for the patients to get an MRI done.
MRI uses just magnetic and radio waves, both of which are safe. CT scan, on the other hand, involves exposure to radiation. Even though the quantity is kept minimal, it can still be damaging. This is why pregnant women, or those who may be pregnant are not allowed this test.
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In very rare cases, this radiation may also result in cancer as well. Therefore, it is pertinent for anyone getting a CT scan in Karachi to visit only the certified labs, so the safety protocols are in place that ensure minimal exposure to radiation.