CT scan vs MRI: Which scan is best for injured patients?

19 May 2017
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog

"No more exploratory surgery thanks to innovative medical technology!" At least that's what doctors can say nowadays after years of research finally paid off in the field of medicine. Nowadays, your doctor doesn't have to check for tumours or internally damaged tissues using surgical methods and other body invasive techniques. Thanks to scanning technology, all your interior tissue problems can be seen and diagnosed appropriately without the doctor having to cut you open.

Anytime you have an internal injury, it is highly likely that your doctor will advise you to get some sort of scan. So, when your physician asks you to take a CT scan or MRI, you should know why. Get to learn about two scanning technologies that have revolutionized internal injury treatment.

CT scan

CT stands for computerised tomography. It involves use of strong X-rays to take images from different angles so that the doctor can get a 360 degree view of the tissue being treated. A CT scan is an improvement to ordinary x-ray scans, because it produces better quality images.  This gives radiologists access to detailed information about the problem for easy and accurate diagnosis.

Sometimes, the scan can save you the trouble of going to surgery by providing your physician with another treatment alternative. Additionally, they are way faster than X-ray scans. That makes them a great option for scanning injuries in emergency situations like car accidents. Moreover, if you are told to take a CT scan, you are likely to spend less time and be exposed to less radiation too. This reduces your probability of contracting a tumour. However, remember that it uses x-rays, so the risk of cancer, though minimal, is still existent.

MRI scan

The term MRI means magnetic resonance imaging. Unlike the CT scan, this one uses a powerful magnet in which the patient is placed. What happens is that radio-wave signals are sent to and fro in the chamber to produce images on a computer. This allows your radiologist to obtain an image from any angle. Since it doesn't use X-rays, it is a preferred option by doctors for treating cancer.

If you know any cancer patient, then you must be familiar with this machine. It is even better to use this if you have been injured, because you stand negligible risk of contracting cancer. Furthermore, an MRI scan provides better contrast for soft tissue images. That makes it a great option for scanning injured brains, joints and ligaments. However, the MRI is an expensive option than a CT scan. It is also not as fast.

Now that you have learnt about MRI and CT scans, you will no longer be in the dark when the doctor tells you to get your injuries scanned.