In the world of radiology, both the CT scan and the MRI are very common procedures that assist physicians in diagnosis and treatment. Both are highly effective, with technology only continuing to advance and improve with time. The differences between the operation of the MRI and CT are fairly significant, but both produce detailed images that give a closer look at concerns within the body.
Whether your medical practitioner recommends an MRI or a CT scan, they will do so based on what will provide the best results and be most appropriate (and safe) for your particular health needs.
A Closer Examination of the CT Scan
A CT scan, short for computerised tomography, belongs to the x-ray family. The basic x-ray uses ionising radiation to generate images of the body’s interior. Going a step further, the CT scan is an x-ray machine that rotates, creating cross-section scans of the body. When these scans are combined together, a 3D image is developed that can give valuable insight and information to physicians and radiologists.
The CT scan uses a higher level of ionising radiation than the general x-ray. However, at quality practices like Vision XRAY, low-dose radiation technology has been implemented successfully, minimising exposure and risk to patients. CT scans are a painless procedure, lasting less than half an hour to complete. Alongside the scan itself, CT may occasionally require the administration of a contrast dye, a pharmaceutical liquid that helps highlight certain regions of the body during the procedure.
A Closer Look at the MRI
The biggest difference between the CT and MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is the lack of ionising radiation used. The MRI scan employs an electric current which sends radio waves through coils to produce high-quality pictures of the body. The signals generated by the radio waves create, like the CT scan, cross-section images that offer a 3-dimensional vision. Compared to the CT scan, an MRI appointment lasts longer, as the technology produces images more slowly.
So, Which is More Effective?
It is fair to say that the scan which is most effective is that which will provide the best possible images for a patient while also protecting their health to the highest degree. Whether that option is MRI or CT scan is the decision of the medical doctor and radiologist. Both scans have their value and are tremendous resources, but the CT and MRI have different strengths and applications.
MRIs are usually the best choice for scans involving the ligaments, tendons, and spinal cord, as MRI images typically offer more density and intricacy. This is especially useful when examining soft tissue for abnormalities, or diagnosing problems in these complex areas.
CT scans are good for zeroing in on a specific region of the body. They are used frequently for injuries or complaints involving the head, chest, abdomen and pelvis, particularly when fractures or bone involvement is suspected. CT scans are the procedure of choice for examining internal organs or seeking out tumours, blood clots, abscesses, or masses. CT scans are often used during surgical procedures, such as a tissue biopsy, as they assist with delicate internal navigation.
A Sydney Radiologist You Can Trust
At Vision XRAY, you can feel secure in the knowledge that our team is dedicated first and foremost to your health, safety, and comfort. In every situation, we aim to select the procedure which will produce the very best results at minimal risk. If you have any questions regarding MRI, CT, or any of our offerings here at Vision XRAY, do not hesitate to get in touch.
Radiology is perhaps most closely aligned with the general x-ray and when many people think of radiological services they probably think of broken bones. But radiology is about much more than bones, helping to diagnose a variety of much deeper health issues. The need for an x-ray is clear when it comes to a possible sprain or fracture, but the need may not be as apparent when it comes to other concerns. One of these such concerns may be headaches. Radiological scans can be an excellent and effective tool when it comes to finding out the underlying cause of severe or ongoing headaches.
First Things First
If you’ve been experiencing a headache, you’ll first head to your primary physician. Your doctor will examine you and ask you a number of questions to determine the cause of your headache, the associated symptoms, and any other influencing factors. Most headaches can be diagnosed right there in the doctor’s office. Common diagnoses include tension, migraines, or cluster headaches. Most headaches do not require any further testing, and are not a significant health concern. The doctor will ask you when your headaches began and how frequently they occur. He or she will also ask you about your level of pain. Lastly, the doctor may inquire about your lifestyle habits and any recent changes to those habits. With an analysis of your symptoms alongside your medical history, most headaches can be diagnosed easily and treatment suggestions offered directly by your physician.
Using Radiology for Headaches
Sometimes symptoms go beyond the typical patterns however, and testing is needed to determine the cause of your headaches. At Vision XRAY, we use MRI and CT scan as tools in these diagnoses, both capable of generating detailed images of the head.
The CT (computerised tomography) scan uses x-ray technology to create cross-section images of the body’s interior. A CT can show high-quality scans and is often used to check for any bleeding in the brain. This option might be chosen if a physician suspects a serious problem such as a brain tumor, aneurysm, or stroke. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) creates images through magnetised radio waves. The MRI can often provide a greater detail to images, making it an optimal tool for detecting certain conditions. It also is able to show certain regions of the brain more closely such as the space near the spinal column. Brain MRI may be selected to assess developmental abnormalities, blood vessel issues, eye and inner ear conditions, and chronic nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Both scans are effective and produce superb imagery, making them incredibly useful in the process of diagnosis.
It is important to remember that a brain scan such as an MRI or CT scan is not necessarily an indicator of a serious problem, but a precaution taken to ensure your health.
If you are concerned about your headaches, we recommend making an appointment with your primary care physician. We at Vision XRAY are also happy to speak with you at any time regarding our services.
At Vision XRAY Group, the safety and care of our patients is at the core of everything we do. Our organisation has been around since 2002, when we began providing radiological services to Australians in Sydney and regionally at our additional locations. Vision XRAY was built on the values of compassion, justice, excellence, unity, and human dignity. Our practice is focused on implementing these values in our every action. By starting with these vital values, we are able to ensure our safety standards are continually met and expanded. How do we give patients our best? Here are a few of the areas we emphasise:
Patients are the Priority
We offer a wide range of services at Vision XRAY. This provides a variety of options when it comes to the scans and procedures we can provide to our patients. Our radiologists know that each patient is unique and thus, their needs and care will vary greatly. We work closely with each individual patient, ensuring our care plan is consistent with providing the best, tailored for that patient’s specific requirements. What this means is that we select (alongside the patient’s physician) the most appropriate scans and procedures which will be most effective for diagnosis and treatment. We also choose the scans which will be best for image clarity and accuracy. As we make these selections, we work to expose the patient to the minimum possible amount of ionising radiation.
A Focus on Radiation Levels
At Vision XRAY, we are highly focused on controlling radiation exposure, protecting our patients and maximising your safety and care. For xray and CT scans, which use ionising radiation to produce images, we emphasise minimising radiation dosage, honing in on the specific region of the body under observation to use the lowest possible dose. We also have invested in top of the line specialty CT and xray equipment, which can allow for “ultra low dose” scanning and can deliver excellent imaging results using smaller radiation amounts. With certain circumstances, we take extra precautions to minimise radiation exposure, such as when scanning a pregnant patient or a child, and in these cases, we will elect for alternate scanning options when possible.
The Best Equipment, Staff, & Systems
Vision XRAY is entirely radiologist owned and operated. We are a team made up of accredited, talented radiologists with extensive experience in our field. We have set a precedent for accepting only the highest standards and our practices strive to continually meet and exceed these levels.
Our top trained radiologists are experts at what they do and each are committed first and foremost to patient comfort and care. Each member of our team embodies our organisation values in everything he or she does. You can feel confident in Vision XRAY as we meet the Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation Scheme standards put forward by Australia’s Department of Health and Ageing.
In addition to employing outstanding radiologists and staff, Vision XRAY uses state of the art equipment which is meticulously serviced and maintained. In keeping with our strict standards, we are always continually evaluating our systems and procedures and promote continuous learning amongst our team. We hope to remain at the forefront of technological advancements and systems development, as we tirelessly work to provide more efficient and effective procedures and overall better patient care.
One of the greatest results of the countless advancements in radiological technology is the growth in dental imaging. At Vision XRAY we offer a variety of options in dental imaging, assisting dental practitioners in their work and effective treatment of patients. With our range of equipment, we can produce specialised, high quality images for use by dental and medical providers, examining not only the teeth and jaw, but also imaging facial bones, dental nerves, and more.
For more simple images of the mouth and teeth, we utilise first class 2-D digital radiography. These low dose machines produce excellent images for use by your dental provider. We perform lateral cephalometry, OPG, TMJ, and facial bone imaging using this technology.
OPG (orthopantomogram) provides a panoramic x-ray of the patient’s lower face, imaging the teeth of both the upper and lower jaw. This scan can be used to display the position and growth of all teeth, including those that are still to surface, and may also be used to examine the structure of the jawbone and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). OPG’s are frequently used when checking for the presence of wisdom teeth in a patient.
Lateral cephalometry is an x-ray which produces a side view of the face, showing bone and facial structure. Such a scan is useful for orthodontists in developing their treatment plans and tracking progress. Both lat ceph and OPG are quick, painless procedures performed in-house at Vision XRAY’s many locations.
Cone BEAM CT
Our cone beam CT (computerised tomography) is an ultra low dose dental CT scan. This procedure uses advanced technology to produce 3-D images of the craniofacial region. An cone shaped x-ray beam is moved around the head of the patient to generate clear images of dental structures, nerves, soft tissues, and bone. Because these images are more detailed, cone beam CT can assist in more specific and specialised treatment and diagnosis.
Cone beam CT may be helpful for orthodontic treatment as well as surgical planning for issues such as teeth impaction. TMJ disorder diagnosis can also be assisted through this technology, and issues with the jaw, sinuses, and nasal cavity can also be evaluated. When patients are experiencing pain in the craniofacial region, the cone beam CT can be instrumental in aiding radiologists to determine the source of the problem. One of the most significant uses for cone beam CT is its role in planning tooth implantation. Cone beam CT shows the height and width of bone available for implantation as well as bone quality. This assists in the planning the procedure as well as determining whether or not the procedure can be safely performed.
Alongside your physician, orthodontist, dentist, or other specialist, our team at Vision XRAY will select the appropriate scanning technologies that best meet your needs, with a constant focus on your health and well-being. Our radiologists would be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you have regarding dental imaging or cone beam CT. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your needs.
When it comes to medical diagnosis and treatment, physicians and other practitioners use a vast range of procedures, methods, and tools in their care. Radiology plays a major role in the medical arena, and its importance only continues to grow as technology and science contribute continuous new advancements to the field. Radiologists work with a variety of scans, but the most commonly used are CT scan, MRI, general x-ray, and ultrasound. Depending on the nature of the injury or illness, a radiologist may use a single type of scan or use several scans in combination. How does the radiologist determine which scan to use in patient diagnosis and treatment?
A Closer Look at Common Radiology Scans
The x-ray is the most broadly used type of scan, and most people have probably had at least one x-ray in their life; dentists use x-rays to assist them in the proper treatment of patients’ teeth, for example. The x-ray scan uses electromagnetic energy waves to create images of the bones and other interior structures.
A CT (computerised tomography) scan is a more advanced x-ray which rotates to provide cross-sections of internal images. Using a higher dose of radiation, the CT is able to produce a much more detailed scan, which becomes important when diagnosing or treating certain types of issues.
Ultrasound is well-known for its use in monitoring pregnancy and providing images of the growing foetus inside the mother. Ultrasound technology does not use ionising radiation like the x-ray or CT scan, but uses sound waves to build images of the patient’s body.
Like the ultrasound, MRI, or Magnetic resonance imaging, does not utilise ionising radiation in its scans. Rather, MRIs work with magnets and radio waves to capture their internal images. An MRI is a scan which takes longer to complete, but the pictures it can produce are highly detailed.
Practical Applications of Radiology Scans
X-rays are very common, particularly for more “visible” ailments such as injuries. For broken bones or an overview of an internal organs, x-rays might be the best choice. Fast and effective, an x-ray produces an adequate scan with a reasonable dose of radiation. X-rays are generally considered the right scan for imaging bones, which explains their extensive use in dentistry.
A mammogram is specialised type of x-ray, used to scan women’s breasts for early indications of breast cancer. It is typically recommended for older women or those with a family history of breast cancer to be scanned yearly. In terms of early diagnosis, mammography is highly effective. Using x-ray technology, it does expose the patient to radiation, so its use should be as limited as possible and used minimally in young women.
When common x-ray is not appropriate, the more advanced CT scan might be chosen. The majority of CT scans use a significantly higher dose of radiation than the x-ray, but CT produces an image with much greater detail, as it creates 3D cross-section pictures of the patient. To minimise radiation exposure, CT scans can be highly localised onto the area of the patient’s body under analysis. A radiologist might choose to use a CT scan in cases of testing for abnormalities such as tumours or blood clots. Physicians often elect to use CT scans during surgeries or other tests to assist with navigating during the procedure, for example with the delicate workings of endoscopic sinus surgery.
Ultrasound is the scan of choice for observing growing babies within the mother’s womb. Ultrasound technology has grown by leaps and bounds, and extremely detailed images can now be procured. This technology is useful to radiologists as it does not subject the patient to any form of potentially harmful radiation, which is particularly important for the expectant mother. Additionally, ultrasound can be used for other purposes, such as soft tissue scans of the pelvis, extremities, neck, and abdomen or for musculoskeletal ultrasound: scanning for abnormalities in joints, muscles, and tendons. The radiologist might choose such a scan if other scans would unnecessarily expose a vulnerable patient to radiation.
Unfortunately, ultrasound is sometimes not effective enough to complete a full diagnosis. When scanning for cancerous lumps, for instance, ultrasound may be performed first followed by the more detailed MRI or CT scan. In their work, careful radiologists try to opt for the scan which presents the least possible risk for patients, but in some cases, additional, more advanced technology is required to form an accurate diagnosis. As always, the advantages and the risks will be weighed and the most beneficial course of action chosen.
MRIs and CT scans are both tools which offer a high level of detail. In many cases, a radiologist will decide which to use between these two scans. While both are very effective, the area of the body under evaluation will often guide the radiologist in his or her decision. MRIs are a good choice for scans of the ligaments, tendons, or spinal cord, as MRI tends to produce images with better density. Conversely, a CT scan might be selected in the case of internal organ injury or when testing for blood clots, tumours, or other masses.
Choosing the Right Scan for the Job
Which scan to use depends upon many factors. The radiologist typically works closely with the patient’s physician, and together they determine which scan(s) will be most effective for their patient’s needs. In addition to selecting the scan which will provide the highest level of detail, radiologists must also consider what scans tend to produce the best images and results for the specific ailment in question. Other considerations include the patient’s age, level of health, and previous exposure to radiation. The radiologist will select the best tool for the job as well as the scan that will be safest for their patient. It’s important for the physician and radiologist to strike the proper balance between efficacy and protection. At Vision XRAY, our radiologists strive to minimise radiation whenever possible, and the health and safety of our patients is always our priority.
You may have heard that Vision XRAY offers teleradiology services within our practice. Yet you may be left wondering: just what is teleradiology? Teleradiology is the sharing of radiological medical images such as x-rays, MRIs and CT scans via electronic technology. The purpose of this system is to allow patient information to be available remotely. This helps to achieve greater accuracy, efficiency, and speed when it comes to patient diagnosis and treatment. The ability to share imaging easily and quickly allows patients and radiologists access to other radiologists as well as specialists. It also facilitates simple communication between physician and radiologist. Working with our healthcare partners, we enable rapid image sharing with community medical centres, hospitals, and private health centres.
Teleradiology at Vision XRAY
At Vision XRAY we use the RRRA (Remote Radiology Reporting Australia) system of teleradiology. RRRA was the first teleradiology practice in Australia, founded in 2001 and expanding ever since. We have 8 certified teleradiologists at Vision, and they prepare and handle imagery from MRI, CT scans, ultrasound, cone beam CT, dental x-ray, and chiropractic x-ray, among others. In most cases, images are transmitted within a timeframe of 24 hours–faster during emergency or urgent circumstances.
Technologically speaking, the RRRA teleradiology system is very advanced. Information is shared via a secure PACS system using Wide Area Network (WAN) and broadband as well as wireless options. A VPN as well as other protective measures ensures security and confidentiality of transmitted data. The IT infrastructure is strong and expertly-managed; in the case of any outages or errors, the system is supported by multiple servers, data backups, and other fail-safe mechanisms to keep the program up and running. At Vision XRAY, our teleradiologists have dedicated workstations for sending and receiving imagery, equipped with state of the art technology.
Practical Applications and Benefits
Thirty or so years ago, technology necessitated that radiologists physically be present when their expertise was needed. Teleradiology has vastly altered the process for analysis and diagnostic of medical imaging; radiology remains at the forefront of ‘telemedicine’ or medical care provided remotely or across several locations. The use of teleradiology allows radiologists to communicate clearly and easily with hospitals, physicians, surgeons, and more. This has certainly changed radiology practices, allowing radiologists to work effectively in various locations and streamlining and improving the process for patients.
As a patient at Vision XRAY, we may use teleradiology as an effective tool in your diagnosis and treatment. Communication with doctors, hospitals, and radiologists is better facilitated through the use of this premier technology and you can feel confident that Vision XRAY is committed to continuing to use the best available technology and practices available.
Nuclear medicine is one of many radiological services offered at Vision XRAY. Not a familiar concept to most, nuclear medicine is a very useful tool which assists in diagnosis on a more detailed level of scan. Today, we take an inside look at what nuclear medicine is and how it can help our patients.
On the Molecular Level
What is incredible about nuclear medicine, is it helps radiologists access a patient’s body on the molecular level. Within the realm of molecular imaging, nuclear medicine utilises radiopharmaceuticals (very tiny amounts of radioisotope) in diagnosis and treatment. Working with special scanning technology, these radiopharmaceuticals can be observed within the patient’s body and create the needed images, on a remarkable level. More common diagnostic tools, such as XRAY, CT scan, and MRI can produce advanced and high quality images of the physical structure of specific areas of the body. Yet nothing provides the detail that nuclear medicine can attain.
How Does the Process Work?
The procedures for nuclear medicine vary greatly. On a basic level, if you’re undergoing nuclear medicine, you will be administered a small quantity of radioisotope, typically through injection. During the procedure, a gamma camera will be placed around the key areas of your body being examined, producing the necessary images. Your radiologist will discuss the specifics of each procedure in greater detail if your situation requires nuclear medicine.
What Does Nuclear Medicine Do?
Nuclear medicine has many uses in the medical world. This type of scan can provide radiologists and physical with greater insight into your condition and your health. Nuclear medicine is effective in diagnosing a variety of illnesses and problems, including bone disorders, heart disease, and brain disorders, among others. In particular, nuclear medicine is important in identifying certain diseases in theur earliest stages. Assisting with a cancer diagnosis, nuclear medicine can determine the exact location of a tumor, sometimes even prior to the appearance of symptoms. It is one of the methods which can help with earliest possible detection. Often, nuclear medicine can be utilised as a form of treatment with cancer, kidney disorders, and brain diseases, as well as other illnesses.
Unlike biopsy or similar invasive methods, nuclear medicine has the benefit of being a completely non-invasive procedure. It produces the same results, if not better in certain circumstances, and its ability for early detection of some diseases makes it an excellent tool for patients.
Is it Safe?
Many patients express concern over the potential risks involved with undergoing nuclear medicine. The procedures of nuclear medicine do involve some ionising radiation, similar to other scanning technology, such as general XRAY. As radiation exposure is cumulative there is always some inherent risk involved. However, the amount administered in nuclear medicine or an XRAY is neglible and is not dissimilar from amounts of radiation you are likely to be exposed to naturally. Vision XRAY is committed to your safety, and always uses the lowest possible doses of radiation in our procedures and treatments.
Unfortunately, many patients will experience joint pain throughout their life. This can occur particularly as the body ages, sometimes caused by arthritis, but joint pain can also transpire as a result of strain, overuse, or injury. Radiology is one of the most effective diagnostic tools available for investigating joint pain. Through various mediums such as XRAY, Ultrasound, MRI, and CT scan, radiologists and physicians can closely examine the patient’s joints and surrounding structures, helping to determine the cause of the problem and find appropriate solutions.
Where Does Joint Pain Occur?
Joint pain may affect any joint within the body, but common areas of pain include the hips, shoulders, wrists, and knees. Joint pain may be caused by inflammation of tendons and ligaments, mal-alignment of joints, loss of cartilage, fractures, or related stresses and injuries.
Patients with arthritis or knee issues will commonly be referred for an XRAY. Your orthopaedic physician may request specific XRAY images of various angles of the joint in question. For knee pain, an XRAY can often indicate whether there is a fracture or bone spur. Your physician may closely examine the images to check for joint alignment and joint space. For arthritic patients, shrinking joint space can indicate a loss of cartilage and help determine the severity of the arthritis.
Ultrasound uses reflection of sound waves to produce an image and does not use ionising radiation, making it a harmless test. It is a dynamic examination so you can see movement both normal and abnormal. Ultrasound examines soft tissues so images can show ligaments and tendons. As it can also observe blood flow, this scan is also useful in assessing inflammation, as there is typically an increase in blood flow to the affected area.
For examining joints, a CT scan is another important tool for diagnosis. While XRAY is helpful for observing bone structure and problems with
cartilage and joint alignment, CT scan provides more detailed images of internal structures such as tendons and ligaments. The CT scan allows the physician to note problems with these structures as well as the internal structure of bones. In the shoulder, for example, there are several tendons which can be prone to tearing or inflammation. A rotator cuff tendon is a commonly injured area of the shoulder.
As the shoulder is a multi-layered area, an MRI is a frequently used scan for this part of the body. MRI scans can show the soft tissue as well as the bone, so this test can be especially useful in observing swelling. The MRI allows the radiologist and physician to see further detail of the interior structures. Frequently, an arthrogram is utilised to investigate shoulder pain. An arthrogram involves an injection of a contrast dye, which helps internal areas show up much more clearly on our scans. The arthrogram can be used in conjunction with a CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI.
There are many useful diagnostic tools and tests for determining the cause of joint pain throughout the body. Your radiologist, alongside your physician, will determine which scans are most appropriate for each patient. If you are experiencing any current joint pain, do not hesitate to contact your physician immediately. Injuries or other problems can be dealt with, and our radiology technology here at Vision XRAY is excellent for investigating these issues. Your doctor can refer you for a diagnostic scan, and together we’ll help determine the cause of your pain.
Computed Tomography (CT) Coronary Angiography, or Coronary Artery is a CT scan performed on the coronary arteries and heart chambers. This procedure can provide very detailed images of your heart for the radiologist, and is a very useful diagnostic tool.
How Does the Coronary CT Work?
During your CT scan, you will lie down on a bed which slides into the scanner through an opening. The scanner rotates around your body to produce images, and you may hear some quiet whirring sounds. The scan is painless and non-invasive, and should only take about 20 minutes to complete. We use low-dose technology to limit your exposure to radiation. A coronary CT will be focussing on your heart region for the scan.
What Can I Expect?
You should plan to arrive approximately an hour prior to your appointment to get situated. For a coronary CT, it’s important not to ingest any caffeine or stimulating substances prior to your scan, as we’ll need your heart rate to be as slow as possible. Occasionally, we may use medication to help relax and steady your heart. A slower heartbeat allows us to get the best possible view and images with our scan.
You’ll wear a hospital gown for the procedure, and will be given a contrast dye intravenously, which provides the necessary contrast for images. This dye may cause a slight metallic taste or a warm sensation, and will exit your system with no problem. ECG leads will be affixed to your chest also, to monitor your heart rate throughout the CT. During the scan, you’ll lie on the scanning table within the machine. You’ll be asked to hold your breath for a short period. The scan itself should take roughly 20 seconds to complete.
After the Scan
After the scan, the IV will be removed from your arm, and you will be able to change back into your normal clothing. It is possible you may feel lightheaded or dizzy, particularly if you’ve been given any medication to help slow the heart rate. You can rest and recover in the office if necessary. You should drink lots of fluids to help flush the contrast dye through your system. Very rarely, some bruising can occur at the site of the dye injection, in which case ice should be applied. In the vast majority of cases, you can head home shortly following the CT scan procedure. Results from your coronary CT can take several days after analysis of your coronary arteries and heart by your Radiologist.
If you have further concerns or questions not addressed in this article, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our highly qualified radiologists. At Vision XRAY, patient care and comfort is our top priority, and we are delighted to help answer any questions you may have or provide more information about any of our procedures.
Both a CT scan and an MRI are extremely effective tools in medical diagnostics and treatment. The two procedures utilise different technological methods to produce images of the body, and provide various applications for health practitioners.
A computerized tomography (CT) scan, is a rotating x-ray procedure which generates cross-sectional images of the body. Multiple cross-sectional images can be combined to create a 3-dimensional image of the patient. CT scans can be localised onto one region of the body to provide an accurate picture of that organ or area. For example, CT scans may focus on the thoracic region, the brain, the pelvic region, or on the extremities. The 3D imaging is extremely useful in detecting abnormalities such as tumours, blood clots, or abscesses. CT scans may also be used during surgical procedures, such as a tissue biopsy, as they can aid the doctor with delicate internal navigation.
For the patient, the CT scan is a painless procedure, generally lasting for less than half an hour. In certain instances, the scan may require a contrast dye, a pharmaceutical liquid that helps distinguish certain parts of the body during the CT. This dye can be ingested orally by the patient, or may be administered intravenously, depending on the specific needs of the scan.
Magnetic resonance imaging, more commonly known as MRI, utilises radio waves and magnets to create detailed images of the body. Unlike an X-ray or CT scan, it does not use ionising radiation. In an MRI, wire coils in the machine send and receive radio waves, produced by an electric current which is run through the coils. The signals create a series of cross-sectional images (similar to a CT scan). An MRI scan can often create more intricate images; it is especially useful for differentiating between normal and abnormal tissue in the patient.
An MRI usually lasts slightly longer than a CT scan. This procedure, too, is painless, but the machine is somewhat noisier during the scan. An MRI may require the use of a contrast dye as well.
While both the CT scan and the MRI are superb diagnostic tools, your doctor will determine which scan is better suited for your needs. Depending on the purpose of the exam and the region of the body being evaluated, one type of scan may be preferred over the other. For example, a CT scan may be chosen when studying injury to organs, broken bones, or when searching for tumours or blood clots. An MRI may be more appropriate if the doctor needs to see your spinal cord, ligaments, or tendons, as the MRI scan can better show the density of these structures.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about either of these procedures. We at Vision Xray Group strive to keep our patients comfortable, healthy, and well-informed.