MRI imaging is "magnetic resonance imaging." CT stands for "computer tomography." Both can see into the human body and provide cross-sectional images of your body. However, the ways in which these machines accomplish this are very different. Your doctor may order an MRI instead of a CT, and there are some valid reasons why.
CT Scan Exposes You to a Lot of Radiation
CT scans use radiation to get their images. MRIs do not. Additionally, you are exposed to more radiation for a longer period of time in a CT machine than just a simple x-ray because the CT machine is scanning a lot more of your body for much longer periods of time. While you should not be afraid to have a CT scan done if your doctor orders one for you, most doctors like the idea of less radiation exposure via the MRI.
The Injectable Material and Dye for an MRI Really Makes Images Clear
About halfway through an MRI procedure, the radiology technicians will come into the room, prep your arm for an IV, and use that IV to inject you with a material that is picked up by the MRI machine. After the full dose of injectable material has spent five minutes circulating through your body, it will light up any and all areas of concern for the radiologist and your doctor. It will show things like enlarged organs straining to do their jobs and blood vessels about to pop in your brain. The material acts like an internal "highlighter" that the MRI scan picks up on and prints in picture form. Then there is zero doubt about any medical condition your doctor is looking for.
The MRI Is Safer If You Were Not Aware That You Were Pregnant
Most doctors do not want to use either of these machines on women who are pregnant, simply because of the potential harm to the embryo or fetus and lack of documentation. If you say that you were not pregnant, but you are not one-hundred-percent positive, your doctor will order the MRI over the CT just to err on the side of caution. That way if you actually are pregnant and did not know it, the MRI is less likely to cause harm to the embryo/fetus (if you plan to keep it). An MRI is also safer for men of the reproductive years who have regular sex with one or more female partners.
For more information, you will want to contact a company such as Kenai Peninsula Imaging Center, LLC.
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