When Are CT Scans Used Versus MRI Scans?


Quick Answer

CT scans are used instead of MRI scans when looking for broken bones or fractures, in diagnosing cancer or getting greater insight into abnormal chest X-rays and pneumonia, states ct-scan-info.com. CT scans take a much shorter period of time and are generally available in hospital emergency rooms, according to Diffen.

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When Are CT Scans Used Versus MRI Scans?
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Full Answer

CT scans show bleeding in the brain much better than MRIs, explains ct-scan-info.com When an accident occurs, CT scans are superior in showing torn or damaged organs as well as vertebral and broken bones on the spine, whereas an MRIs better show the actual spinal cord. CT scans take about five minutes, are less sensitive to patient movement and are usually less expensive than MRI scans, notes Diffen. A major advantage to having a CT scan is the ability to image soft tissue, bone and blood vessels simultaneously.

The contrast dyes used in CT scans are less likely to cause feelings of nausea or allergic reaction. CT scan machines rarely cause claustrophobia and can be used by patients with metal implants, notes Diffen. CT scans far exceed MRI scans in their ability to see the chest cavity in between the lungs, states ct-scan-info.com. CT scans exceed MRI scans in accuracy of outlining bones in the body.

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