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What’s the Difference Between an MRI & a CT Scan?

What’s the Difference Between an MRI & a CT Scan?MRI
MRI’s (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) are most often used to detect brain and spinal disorders like bleeding, tumors, strokes, cancer, as well as aortic and other heart discrepancies. MRI’s are commonly used to view the joints, soft tissues, and bones of the entire body. There is no radiation involved.

The most advanced MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is done with 3T Wide Bore Imaging. This machine offers up the most detailed anatomy, showing the tiniest lesions that would otherwise go unnoticed, enabling the physicians to visualize the body like never before. With the 3T Wide Bore Imaging system, physicians are also able to map out intricate treatment options for each patient, specifically on a case-by-case basis.

The key to the best outcome when dealing with disorders and disease states is to get a proper diagnosis early. With detailed imaging and a widened-comfort for the patient, the 3T Wide Bore MRI is the best chance for early detection and a healthy life.

Since MRI is a large magnet, patients with anything implanted in their bodies other than joint replacements, will be asked to provide the MRI department with information on the implant. An example of an implant may be a stent, shunt, medication or penile pump, neurostimulator, bladder stimulator, IVC filter, eye or ear implants, etc. A large majority of implants are safe to go into the magnetic field; however, some implants are not approved for MRI scans. Our MRI technologists are trained to research any and all implants to ensure patient safety before entering the magnetic field. It is important to provide the information at the time of scheduling the appointment.

CT Scan
Computed tomography (CT), also known as a CT or CAT scan, is similar to an x-ray but captures much greater detail and accuracy. CT scans are diagnostic images of the organs and soft tissue inside of the body using slices of cross-sectional images that can be 3D as well.

With CT scans, intricate detail is available of the organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels internally that provides sophisticated x-ray technology to help detect various diseases and conditions such as tumors, blood clots, liver masses, and numerous other disorders. Choices Matter: The Reliability Radiology Regional Offers Patients.

The CT is an open hole, not a “tunnel” and most exams the patient goes in feet first. Anything shoulders up goes in head first, but even then, the patient isn’t in the donut hole area very long. Newer MRI scanners are open on both ends. Each individual series within the CT exam (# of series vary exam to exam) are only about a 15 second breath hold. MRI only holds breath for Abdominal and chest exams, while all others are just lay still and relax.

The CT is a 360 degree (3D) image, unlike a traditional x-ray which is a 2D, flat image. MRI is 3D as well. The information and data acquired during a CT can be manipulated by the CT software to demonstrate specific structures such as 3D bone or calcium in the coronary vessels.

A routine CT exam (not cardiac) only takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes total depending on the exam. Most routine MRI’s are approximately 15 minutes depending on the area being imaged. There are no loud knocking noises with CT.

CTs and MRI’s can be ordered with or without contrast, depending on the diagnosis. CT scans use iodine based contrast, while MRI uses gadolinium. If patients have questions or concerns regarding contrast, please discuss with their physician or reach out to Radiology Regional prior to exam.

If a CT scan is “with contrast” that is in reference to intravenous contrast, a dye injected into the vein that can make the patient feel a warm sensation throughout the body for about 30 seconds. Abdominal and pelvic CTs may require an oral contrast prep, depending on the diagnosis.

Radiology Regional
Radiology Regional is a physician-owned, well-established imaging practice with over 30 board-certified radiologists that work closely with your doctor. You will get personalized service and expertise in a warm, comfortable environment, which is not always offered with a big group or hospital-
owned organization. Radiology Regional also provides the newest technological advances. Their superior imaging equipment includes 3T wide-bore MRI, 256 Slice CT, 3D Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, PET Scans, and Siemens ultrasound. Radiology Regional Center is a premier diagnostic facility that takes pride in offering the highest quality healthcare to the community.

The mission of Radiology Regional Center is to serve the health care needs of the community with a constant striving for the highest quality care, innovative and responsible use of resources, and an abiding regard for the individual. The philosophy of Radiology Regional Center is based on Compassion, Dignity and Partnership.

Radiology Regional Center is a member of the Independent Physicians Association of Lee County (IPALC)
Independent Physicians Association of Lee County is a group of physicians who are concerned about maintaining the quality of medical care in our community. There are a variety of financial and societal pressures that are motivating change in the organization of the delivery of medical care. The status quo is clearly not the future, and significant change is inevitable. Physicians are central to the delivery of medical care and must have a voice in this process. In order to participate, physicians must be informed, and our intent is to serve as an independent source of information about local events that influence our ability to provide quality care to our community.

Radiology Regional Center has 11 convenient locations throughout Southwest Florida and our Mobile Mammography Coach for your convenience.

Ask your physician to refer you to Radiology Regional Center for your imaging needs. Make your choice the best choice for you!

Contact Radiology Regional today at
(239) 936-2316, Español (239) 425-4678.


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