MRIs and CT Scans cause quite the confusion. If there’s one thing we’ve discovered over the years, it’s that it’s incredibly difficult to explain to patients the differences between CT and MRI. When it comes down to it, almost everyone understands that CT and MRI are somehow different. However, it is increasingly difficult for patients to determine if they need an MRI or CT scan (also known as CAT Scan).
We’re firm believers that providing people with actual examples is one of the best ways to help them remember the differences between these two different procedures, so we’ve got a little test for you! The answers to the questions are at the bottom of the post, try your best to pick on your own before peeking at them! Good luck!
Question 1: Which machine is a CT scanner and which is a MRI scanner?
Question 2: Bob was just in a car accident and has been rushed to the emergency room. They think he may have a few broken bones, and want to make sure nothing else is wrong internally. Should Bob get a CT scan or an MRI scan?
Question 3: Sally is a soccer player, and during her last game she injured something in her knee. Sally’s doctor thinks she may have torn a tendon or ligament. Should he order a CT scan or an MRI scan for Sally?
Question 1: The 1st picture is a CT machine, the second is an MRI machine.
Question 2: CT SCAN. CT machines are better at clearly showing injuries that affect bones and internal organs. Also, because CT scans take significantly less time than MRI’s do, in almost all emergency room cases they’re the preferred choice.
Question 3: MRI SCAN. MRI’s are great at showing differences between normal and abnormal tissue, and are particularly useful when the doctor is trying to examine tendons, ligaments, or the spinal chord due to their densities. So for an injury like Sally’s, an MRI is the best option.
If you didn’t get any of the answers right, that’s ok! Medical imaging is a difficult subject, and it takes years of study to understand the benefits of both procedures. (Just think, it takes 7 years in med school normally). It just makes us appreciate our radiologists and physicians that much more! If you need an MRI make sure you set up your appointment with us today!