What Is The Difference Between MRI vs CT Scan

mri vs ct scan



CT scan and MRI scan are two different types of diagnostic tools for multiple complex diseases including cancer.

CT scan or CAT scan refers to Computed Tomography scan or Computed Axial Tomography that utilizes X-Rays to have 360-degree cross-sectional overview of blood vessels, soft tissues, and bones.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is termed as an MRI scan that utilized magnetic rays to image organs, internal structures and soft tissues in details. Both scans are performed by experts of each category to have best results.

Every disease has its diagnostic procedures that are helpful to both the patient and the doctor. For the physician, a proper diagnosis is an essential part of treating or prescribing a remedy to the patient for the disease or illness that they are suffering from. A proper diagnosis of the disease that a patient is suffering from enables them to get a clear perspective of the disease they are ailing from. It allows the patient to know the lifestyle adjustments that they may need to make, how much the treatment is going to cost and how long it might take for them to get healed from their disease or whether they shall have live with it for the rest of their lives. We can therefore never over emphasize the need for proper and accurate diagnosis. One of the most efficient diagnostic procedure is either CT scan or MRI scan. But MRI VS CT Scan has some differences in functionality and results.

Both the CT scans and MRI scans accurately supply diagnostic pictures of the inside parts of your body. An important point to mention is the fact that both of these diagnostic procedures achieve their significant undertakings in ways that are not similar at all. Below are some of the main factors in which both the MRI and the CT scans are different. Read this detailed comparison between MRI vs CT Scan below.


use of mri and ct scanThe CT scan produces diagnostic pictures of inside the body by using the x-ray technology. Ionizing radiation is what the x-rays need. The pictures of someone’s body that are captured from angles that are different and this is only made possible through the use of a CT scanner that goes around on an axis taking numerous 2D pictures. When this pictures that are cross-sectional by nature, are beamed on the monitor of a computer the outcome is a 3D image of inside the body which in turn divulges the existence of a disease or damage to an individual part of the body to the physician. In contrast, the MRI scan works in a completely different way from the CT scan. The MRI Scan uses radio waves and unique magnets to create diagnostic pictures. The magnets that are used in the MRI scan have the sole purpose of creating a magnetic field that brings up body protons. The waves from the radio are then put on the protons in small splits, which eventually pass a signal that is collected by the MRI scanner. The signal is then processed through a computer creating a 3D picture of part of the body that is being examined.


When it comes to the question of how fast both the MRI scan and the CT scan are, the CT scans are usually much more quickly in carrying out their diagnostic assignments than the MRI scans. For instance, while an MRI can take approximately half an hour, on the contrary, a CT scan can amazingly take not more than 5 minutes.


There are different purposes for which both the CT scans and MRI’s scans are used although it is important to mention that there are cases in which both can be utilized. CT scans are excellent in diagnosing fractures and tumors. On the other hand, MRI scans are good at diagnosing spinal injuries and various kinds of muscles in the body.

CT can locate the bones and bony structure of the body very accurately while MRI diagnoses soft tissue related injuries and issues.

CT has fewer chances to develop claustrophobia while anxiety related claustrophobia is common during MRI diagnostic tool. MRI can result in tiredness and annoyance due to prolonged lying on hard board.


Safety of diagnostic operations is very crucial for all type of patients. For critically ill patients safety of diagnostic procedures should be a top priority. CT scan is relatively safer as compared to MRI. MRI scans are not suitable for patients who have implanted aneurysm clips because aneurysm clips are pulled off by magnetic radiation. This could lead to internal injury in brain and death of the patient.

Similarly, MRI diagnostic tool is not safe for patients who are using artificial cardiac pacemaker because MRI radiations can interact with metal devices and stop their performance.

Both are painless procedures and suitable for different specialities. CT scan takes less time for operation, therefore, it is considered as easy and safer diagnostic tool.


Both scans have different specialties; therefore, there is a huge difference in the cost of each scan. MRI is relatively expensive as compared to CT scan. It is always good to go for a specific scan advised by the physician because your physician can accurately refer you to specific scan. According to the patients, medical condition doctors select particular scan whether it’s expensive or not.

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