Share This Post


Difference Between CT Scan and MRI

Difference Between CT Scan and MRI

We have heard of CT Scan and MRI and many of us would have already gone through it as well. Not many know the basic difference between them. Let us now look at these two technologies and try to understand a little more than what we know.

CT Scan as well as MRI use capturing of images within our body. The biggest difference between them is that MRI uses Radio Waves and CT Scan uses X-rays. CT Scan stands for Computed Tomography Scan and MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.


MRI is normally used to view objects inside our body and frequently used to diagnose issues with

  • Joints
  • Brain
  • Wrists
  • Ankles
  • Breasts
  • Heart
  • Blood Vessels

With MRI, a constant Magnetic Field and Radio Frequencies bounce off of the Fat and Water Molecules in our body. These Radio Waves are transmitted to a receiver inside the machine. The received waves are then translated into an image of the body which is used to diagnose issues. MRI Machine generates noise and the patient undergoing MRI will be given earplugs or headphones to reduce the noise. The patient also needs to lie still while doing an MRI.

CT Scan

A Large X-Ray machine is used for CT Scan which is basically uses X-Ray Imaging. The CT Scan is typically used for detecting

  • Bone Fracture
  • Tumors
  • Cancer Monitoring
  • Detecting Internal Bleeding

CT Scans are widely used and they are comparatively less expensive than MRI. The Detail of the Image generated is more in MRI than CT Scan. While both are of relatively low risk processes, they do have some risks and benefits.

Risks and Benefits

The risk with CT Scan include the following.

  • Harmful to unborn babies
  • Very small dose of Radiation
  • Potential reaction to the use of Dyes

The risks with MRI include:

  • Possible reaction to metals due to magnets
  • Loud noise from the machine causing hearing issues
  • Increase in body temperature while doing long MRIs
  • Claustrophobia – a situational phobia triggered by an irrational and intense fear of tight or crowded spaces

Benefits of MRI and CT Scan is that both can view internal body structure. CT Scan is faster and provides picture of Tissues, Organs and Skeletal Structure. MRI on the other hand is highly adept in capturing images and helps doctors determine if there are abnormal tissues within the body. The doctor recommends based on your symptoms, whether to go for a MRI or CT Scan method. MRI is more effective in cases of Herniated Discs, Torn Ligaments, Soft Tissue issues. In case a general image is required of an area like Internal Organs due to a fracture or head trauma, a CT Scan is normally recommended.

Source of Information: Healthline

You must consult with a doctor prior to going for a MRI if you have implants like Artificial Joints, Eye Implants, Intrauterine Devices (IUD), Pacemaker etc.

Read more about CT Scan and MRI at:

Information provided here is only for a general awareness. Do CT Scan or MRI only when it is prescribed by your doctor.

Share This Post

Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


Thank you for visiting this page. As you may notice there are some links on this page that redirects you to another website. These links are affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and purchase/sign up for that item/service I will receive a small commission from that purchase at no added cost to you. I have only shared links to those products that I would use personally. The money that I earn through this method is just a small income to help me continue my blog through which I want to help enlighten you all on various topics. I am extremely grateful to you if you choose to purchase any of the items through the affiliate links on this page.

Leave a Reply