Which is better a CT scan or MRI?
In cases where doctors need to view soft tissue, MRI is a better option than x-rays or computed tomography. MRI may be better for detecting spinal cord abnormalities, protruding discs, small herniated discs, pinched nerves, and other soft tissue problems. In some situations, CT scans are easier to detect abnormalities than MRI scans, including acute bleeding and bone fractures. Conversely, MRI is best for detecting small or thin lesions such as multiple sclerosis plaques, acoustic neuromas, or low-grade astrocytomas.
CT is better than MRI for imaging calcified tissue such as bone. CT scans are best for imaging trauma, staging cancer, and diagnosing blood vessel conditions. To find cancer that has returned throughout the body, CT scans are preferred over MRI scans. We usually use CT scans first for most people, unless the tumor is much better visible on an MRI.
If we see something on CT that we are not sure about, we can recommend an MRI for further evaluation. It is important to understand that after all these scans are used in diagnosis in different ways, so your doctor will need to decide if a CT scan or an MRI is right for you depending on your specific situation. At BICRAD, we proudly offer both computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in many inpatient and outpatient imaging centers. Call Envision Imaging for more information or to schedule an appointment for a CT, MRI, or X-ray.