Going through several procedures when you are already feeling sick may make you feel overwhelmed. There may be instances when you might get confused about these procedures so let me help you lighten some of the burden. We will differentiate between a CT scan and an MRI scan so that you will have an idea if you are undergoing a necessary procedure or not.
A CT scan or computerised tomography scan is a series of X-ray images that are taken at different angles. It uses a computer to produce pictures from X-rays.
An MRI scan or magnetic resonance imaging uses magnetic fields with radio waves to create a picture of the body’s organs, soft tissues, as well as the bones.
How they work
Multiple X-rays are taken at different angles and those X-rays are then combined to create a 3D image of the organ under examination.
If you undergo a Afterwards, the energy produced will send a signal to a nearby computer which transforms the signal into a detailed picture of the organ or tissue with the help of mathematical formulas. , for example, the equipment uses magnets as well as radiofrequency waves in the body. It produces a magnetic field which lines up the atoms. The unmatched atoms, once the radiofrequency is added, spin in the reverse position as the first set.
Which is safer?
Both procedures are technically safe, though if no caution is taken, they can be harmful. For example, MRIs are not recommended for people with aneurysm clips because the clips may be dislodged which may cause the patient to die due to a brain haemorrhage.
MRIs are also not for patients with pacemakers or defibrillators. An MRI uses magnets, and these can cause the device to malfunction. Also, if there is any metal material in an organ, the magnetic field in an MRI can pull it out. Oxygen tanks and other canisters made of metal are to be kept away from an MRI machine.
As for CT scans, it does not have the same issues as an MRI, but it does expose the patient to radiation and should not be used for patients that are pregnant or suspected to be pregnant.
For which conditions is it used?
A CT scan can be used to diagnose the following:
· Stroke. It can create pictures of the brain that can help distinguish ischemic from hemorrhagic stroke.
· Trauma. Helps evaluate head and facial trauma.
· Abdominal pain. Determines and diagnoses abdominal pain especially that coming from the colon, small bowel, and other internal organs.
· Injuries. It can also provide a clear picture of traumatic injuries such as bone fracture.
An MRI can be used for the following:
· Herniated disc. Provides a clearer image of the lumbar spine to verify if a herniated disc can be found.
· Detailed image. It is a second resort if the CT scan is unable to provide a detailed image of the organ.
Before you undergo any procedure, it is important that you ask questions and do your own research since it is your health and life at risk. Make sure that the process is explained thoroughly to you.