What's the Difference Between an MRI and a CT Scan?

What are They?

Both MRI and CT scan are tools doctors use to look inside your body without surgery!

CT Scan Basics

A CT scan is like a super-detailed X-ray. It uses special X-ray beams to create pictures.

MRI Basics

An MRI doesn’t use X-rays. Instead, it uses powerful magnets and radio waves to make images.

What CT Sees Best

CT scans are great for seeing bones and finding injuries quickly.

MRIs are excellent for looking at muscles, the brain, and the spine in detail.

What MRI Sees Best

A CT scan is usually faster, taking only a few minutes, while an MRI can take up to an hour.

The Time Factor

The Sound

MRIs are loud! They make a knocking noise, but you'll get earplugs to help block the sound.

Using Dye

Sometimes, a special dye is used in both scans to make the pictures clearer.

Staying Still is Key

For both scans, you need to lie very still to get a good picture.

Safety First

CT scans use a bit of radiation, but don’t worry, it’s very safe. MRI uses no radiation.

Who Can’t Have MRI?

People with certain metal implants can’t have MRIs because of the magnets.

Doctors decide which test you need based on what they need to see inside your body.