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Baton Rouge, LA
A 23-year-old female asked:

what's the difference between a ct scan of head and mri.?brain zaps, eyes jump back and forth, panic, confusion at times.doc says i'm ok don't need mri.

5 doctor answers16 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alon Seifan
Neurology 13 years experience
Both can be useful: A ct scan uses ionizing radiation to get a picture of the brain tructures, and it is good for seeing blood, calcium and major abnormalities. An MRI uses magnetic energy to get a picture of the brain and is better for seeing the soft tissues of the brain, the detailed anatomy, and minor abnormalities.
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology 29 years experience
Both show anatomy: Both ct and MRI show anatomy. Ct does this be imaging differences in density, and MRI by looking at differences in the number hydrogen atoms in a region (proton density) and the local environment they are in. Both are very good, but MRI is better for looking at soft tissues.
Dr. Ana Adelstein
Clinical Psychology 27 years experience
X- vs Magnetic-Rays: "computed tomography" (ct) scanners take & compile a series x-rays 2form detailed 3-d images. X-rays r a form of high-energy radiation known 2cause genetic (dna) damage. ("x-ray" is short 4 "x-radiation.") in contrast, "magnetic resonance imaging" (MRI) scanners use magnetic fields & pulsing radio waves 2 produce detailed 3-d images. Mri machines don't produce radiation or harmful side effects.
Dr. Ana Adelstein
Clinical Psychology 27 years experience
Provided original answer
MRI scans are preferable 2CT scans 4imaging some tissues/structures AND CT scans are preferable to MRI scans for imaging others.
May 10, 2013
Dr. Philip Chao
Dr. Philip Chao commented
Radiology 38 years experience
MRI is much better than CT. If your CT is abnormal you get an MRI. If your CT is normal you get an MRI. So the CT was not needed.
May 11, 2013
Dr. Kamran Janjua
Radiology 22 years experience
Read more here: Please see these two articles for a more in-depth differentiation of the two: mri: http://www.Conciergeradiologist.Com/mri-scan.Html ct: http://www.Conciergeradiologist.Com/ct-scan.Html.
Dr. Steven Hwang
Neurosurgery 18 years experience
Different studies: A ct scan generally shows bone better and may identify certain types of pathology and also involves receiving some radiation. However an MRI would show detailed anatomy better and is basically magnetic instead of radiation.

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Last updated Mar 12, 2020

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