CT Scan vs. MRI – Which is Better?

A lot of people question the difference between an MRI and a CT Scan. Which is better? Why should I have one instead of the other? These questions are common and it’s important to know why you are getting either a CT scan or an MRI.

What is Each Suited for Examining?

An MRI is best when used for examining soft tissues, such as ligament, tendon injury, spinal cord injury and brain tumors. A CT Scan, on the other hand, is preferred for:

  • Diagnosing cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Organ tear
  • Broken bones
  • Visualizing the lungs

How Much Does and MRI and CT Scan Cost?

An MRI typically costs more than a CT Scan, ranging from $1,200 to $4,000 in price. CT Scans can be as little as half the cost of an MRI, ranging for $1,200 to $3,200. The cost depends primarily on what is being examined. Do research by contacting a few different radiology groups so you are able to find the best price.

Is an MRI or CT Scan Safer?

In terms of radiation exposure, an MRI is safer. An MRI machine controls energy deposition in the patient, which means that there is no radiation exposure. CT Scans offer a radiation dose of two to ten mSv. Due to the high amount of radiation, CT Scans are not recommended for children or pregnant women.

Are there Any Restrictions to Which I can Use?

Aside from pregnant women and children, CT Scans are safe for everyone to get. However, patients with pacemakers, tattoos and metal implants are encouraged to not get an MRI due to an increase in the risk of injury and image distortion.

Consult your physician today if you have questions on which exam is better for you.