This article will explain MRI vs CT scan cost, differences, risks, and uses. MRI and CT scans are easy ways to diagnose internal body organs. They both are considered imaging tests. MRI and CT scan helps your doctor see disease, monitor abnormal problems or growth, and look for the type of cancer and how well the treatment is going. They both have the same function, but the processes are different from each other. You can learn more about these two imaging processes in this post.
A computerized axial tomography scan (CAT), also known as CT (computerized tomography), is the imaging process to take detailed pictures from different viewpoints of the internal organ of your body. It happens by using a combination of X-rays. X-rays are a form of radiation transmitted to the body, but your eyes cannot observe. When X-rays enter into your body, their energy is absorbed in different frequencies by your body’s parts.
The X-ray machine transmits one group of radiation to the body, which is in the state of rest. A CT scanner releases multiple radiation groups to a moving body, which slides into the machine. After scanning, the computer helps to process x-ray information and merges them to produce 2D (Two dimensional) or 3D (Three dimensional) images. CT scans help to diagnose disease (internal bleeding, tumors, etc.), identify the injury extent, and suggest treatment.
An MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) is another imaging process that develops comprehensive pictures of the internal structures of your body. An MRI consists of a magnet-like tube shape, which helps to make magnetic fields. An MRI scan also uses radio waves. This scan observes joints, the brain, breast, heart, bones, and bloodstream.
Your MRI images are collected from the MRI scanner, which slides into or out of the magnetic tube. The human body has a significant percentage of water and possesses hydrogen nuclei (protons). Your body has a natural magnetic field that allows protons to spin uniformly. The magnetic waves released from the MRI scanner can align with the protons. The MRI scanner also transmits radio frequency current to help regulate magnetic fields that result in the flipping of protons against their spin movements.
These protons return to their position where they have as the magnetic field stops. This process is known as precession. A radio signal is developed during precession. These radio signals are read by the scanner and converted into a picture.
MRI vs CT Scan:
The comparison of MRI vs CT scan depends on some factors. MRI and CT scans are considered safe procedures. There is a slight difference in risk in these two scans, which makes them unique. The following are the factors to differentiate these two procedures:
1. Function: Your doctor uses MRI/CT scans to observe the body’s soft tissues. MRI provides comprehensive data about the internal organs, including the brain, chest, reproductive systems, and others than a CT scan.
2. Radiation: CT scans contain less exposure to radiation in people, whereas MRI does not possess radiation. Radiation may become the reason for damaged cells that result in cancer. The risk of cancer is small in CT scans due to the use of low radiation amounts. According to the American College of Radiology, if the medical benefit is not available, there is no need for a CT imaging scan.
3. Noise: MRI scanners have high noise compared to CT scans. A person often uses headphones to cancel the noise coming from the scanner. You may experience discomfort or difficulty during MRI scans if you have claustrophobia. On the contrary, CT scans provide more comfort to patients. CT scans are more open than MRIs and do not create loud noises.
4. Time: MRI takes more time than CT scans. CT scan finishes within ten minutes. An MRI test often lasts at least 45 minutes to one hour. The scan timing may vary on which body part is under examination.
A healthcare provider will recommend an MRI scan or ultrasound rather than a CT scan during pregnancy. It is because a CT scan uses x-rays and is not considered safe if you are pregnant. Sometimes professionals may also resist conducting MRI scans during the first three months of periods.
You may need a contrast (dye) material before both scans to form clear images. You should inform your provider before taking contrast material if you have kidney disease.
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MRI VS CT Scan for back pain:
A CT scan is more suitable than an MRI to take images of calcified tissues such as bones. Osteoarthritis and bone fractures are generally diagnosed with CT scans because of detailed image production.
If you are a person who has a metal-implanted device, it is difficult for an MRI to get images accurately due to the variation in the magnetic field. CT scans do not show a problem and can be processed if you have medical implants. CT scans are often more recommended than MRIs if you experience back pain or spine problems.
MRI VS CT Scan Cost
The MRI vs CT scan cost may vary on various factors, such as location, facilities, and insurance you have. MRI costs are higher compared to CT scans. If you get insurance from your company, you will charge a small amount for your scan. In the United States, a CT scan costs about $500 to $3000 without insurance. An MRI scan costs about $1200 to $4000.
The cost will reduce if you prefer CT scan at imaging centers instead of large hospitals providing more facilities. You can receive more information about MRI vs CT scan.
The function of MRI and CT scans is nearly the same to form images of internal organs by using different processes and techniques. An MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves, whereas a CT scan utilizes X-rays. MRI scan helps to provide more detailed images of the body’s soft tissues, while a CT scan often recommends diagnosing large organs. The scan cost also differentiate each other. You can talk with a professional and verified doctor here to understand more about these procedures.