The MRI scan is the most accurate imaging scan used in diagnostic medicine. Without a doubt, it shows more detail than the x-ray scan or CT scans and it identifies soft tissue very well. Granted, the CT scan can show a great amount of detail but the MRI is used if the former does not show everything.
The original type of MRI scanner is a closed tube and is very small in diameter so many people actually need sedation to tolerate the scan, especially if they have claustrophobia. Radiologists need patients to be alert during scans so the original variety is not as good as the open MRI scanner.
The open MRI is an open field so one does not feel cooped up inside of it. There is freedom to move and no sedation is needed, making it ideal and more practical than its predecessor.
How it Works
The classic CT scan looks similar to an open field MRI but it uses many, many x-rays done in 360 degree rotations constantly to get the images that are needed.
MRI, on the other hand, uses electromagnetic radiation which is done with giant, rotating electromagnets. This produces high-quality images of both soft and hard tissue in the body. It is the best scan to be used for advanced diagnostics and particularly important for soft tissue injuries.
Which is Right for You?
All of the scans that are ordered by your doctor are necessary. Don’t think that just because the MRI has a higher resolution that it is the best for all needs.
In fact, sometimes a CT scan is better or maybe all that is needed is an x-ray in the beginning. Usually, these two tests are used first and then if a diagnosis is not reached, an MRI will be ordered.