There are many more similarities to a CT and MRI scan than there are differences, but below are a few of the ways they can be slightly different. Both are important assessment and diagnostic tools that doctors depend on to help restore sick and injured people to full health. Both are pain-free and non-invasive. They help the doctor have a look at what might be happening inside the body, avoiding unneeded exploratory surgery and added recuperation time.
Definitive and Accurate Diagnostic Tools
A CT scan is able to show soft tissue, blood vessels and cone. It is an accurate diagnostic aid after injuries. An MRI is also accurate in capturing images. It is normally reserved to give more finite detailed visuals of soft tissues. It is routinely used to see brain and spinal abnormalities in exceptional detail.
Length of Time for Test
A CT scan can be done fast and is often used for emergency room diagnosis. An MRI takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the area of the body and amount of imaging needed. Both are comfortable for a patient to undergo, which is preferable if the individual has been injured. They are non-invasive ways for a doctor to see problems without adding more physical discomfort through manipulation of injured areas.
Cost of Testing
Many types of private health insurance assist with the costs of a CT or MRI scan. An MRI scan is a little more costly than the CT, since it takes longer to get done. With most insurance plans all you will need to pay is a small copay or coinsurance to have the test done. Insurance pays the remainder.
Potential Side Effects
You can have side effects with either type of test, but the odds are greater that people can be sensitive to the radiation used in CT scans. MRI does not use radiation to get the clear images. Dizziness and nausea have been reported by some patients, but the side effects are not considered serious or debilitating. They generally clear up without any remedies.
Comfort Levels for Patient
CT scans and MRI can both be comfortable for a patient, but a standard MRI can seem very restrictive and bother a patient that does not like enclosed spaces. An open MRI provides a much more freeing experience. All the patient has to do is lie on a gurney comfortably as the machine does the work.
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