Categories: CT scanMRI scan

What is the difference between MRI & CT scans?

Doctors most commonly refer patients out for CT scans or MRI scans. A computed tomography (CT) scan uses both X-rays and a computer to form images of tissues, organs, and bones in the body.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of tissue and organs in the body. Although they both create images of the body, they are referred for different ailments, conditions, and monitoring injuries. Furthermore, CT scans differ from MRI scans because they use radiation.

CT Versus MRI Scans

CT scans are usually faster and cheaper than MRI scans.  Patients needing to pinpoint cancer or monitor it spreading most often need CT scans. Also, locating the presence of tumors, observing head trauma, or identifying internal bleeding will result in CT scans.  On the contrary, MRI scans help identify blocked blood vessels, spinal injuries, soft tissue ailments, as well as brain injuries, and heart-related conditions. As far as types of CT and MRI scans, the most common include; with and without contrast, with, or without contrast.  Contrast is an oral or intravenous agent that is consumed or injected into the patient prior to the scan to enhance the image quality. Doctors make a determination based on the presenting problem as to what type of medical scan is best for the patient.

Price Differences Between MRI and CT Scan in California

  • CT of the Abdomen: $500 – $1400
  • Foot CT Scan: $220 – $625
  • Brain CT: $310 – $ 550
  • MRI Abdomen: $700 – $1800
  • MRI of the Foot: $400 – $950
  • Brain MRI Scan: $575 – $1675

How to Schedule a CT or MRI Scan

Once the doctor gives a patient order for a CT or MRI scan, it is challenging to find affordable imaging centers. It is highly recommended that patients seek out assistance from companies who specialize in imaging services. These concierge services have the knowledge to answer common questions regarding the type of scan needed, prices for the scan, as well as, what to expect pre, during, and post-scan.  Furthermore, they work closely with the patients to locate the imaging center, schedule the scan, and the follow up after the scan if necessary.

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