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The Difference between CT Scans and MRI Scans

CT scans and MRI scans are two different types of imaging methods recommended by medical professionals that produce detailed images of the body parts such as bones, joints, and organs.

CT and MRI Scan
CT and MRI Scan

Both CT scans and MRI scans are used in diagnosing various types of medical conditions. However, they both create images in different ways as a CT scan uses X-rays to produce images while an MRI scan from the Best MRI Scan Centres in Noida uses radio waves to create detailed images of the body parts.

Besides the imaging methods, there is much more difference between these two scans. The best way to understand the differences between the two scans is to explore each one separately.

Exploring the CT Scans

Medical professionals recommend a CT scan to examine the internal structures of the body parts. A CT scan produces cross-sectional images of the body parts using X-rays and a computer attached to the scanner machine.

The images produced in a CT scan show very thin slices of the body parts such as muscles, organs, and blood vessels, which enables the medical professionals to diagnose the condition of that body part.

A doctor recommends a CT scan to detect:

Fractures or Broken Bones

  • Tumors

  • Internal Bleeding

  • Blood Clots

X-rays can also be used against CT scans to get images of the internal body parts. But, the images produced in an X-ray are not detailed as the image slices are overlapped and the body structures are very difficult to examine.

Therefore, doctors prefer a CT scan to diagnose certain body conditions, because a CT scan creates images that have spaces between organs giving a clearer view.

Exploring The MRI Scans

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is performed to get a detailed view of the internal organs and tissues of the body. The MRI scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce an image of the organs.

An MRI scan uses a magnetic field that makes the protons present in the soft tissues line up. The radio waves then mock the protons out of the line and when these protons come under the magnetic field again, they release energy or signals.

These signals are recorded by a computer to create a detailed view of the organ or tissues. Hence, the images produced have a much more detailed view.

  • A doctor recommends an MRI scan to examine:

  • Brain

  • Heart

  • Breasts

  • Joints

  • Blood Vessels

  • Ankles

An MRI scan typically produces a loud noise, and an earphone or earplug is offered to the patient to help dull the noise.

CT Scan vs. MRI Scan

The major difference between the two scans is that the MRI scan uses radio waves while a CT scan uses X-rays to produce detailed images of the body organs.

A few more differences between the two are

  1. CT scans are typically less expensive than MRI scans.

  2. An MRI scan procedure takes a longer time than a CT scan. Usually, an MRI takes between 30 minutes to 1 hour, while a CT scan can be complete within 15 minutes.

  3. The images produced through MRI have a more detailed view than images created from a CT scan.

  4. A patient is exposed to radiation in a CT scan while in an MRI, there is no exposure to radiation.

  5. CT scans produce less noise than an MRI scan in which a patient needs to plug in an earphone.

A doctor recommends a scan based on the condition of the disease and the level of detail needed in diagnosing.

Choosing The Right Scan

Generally, your doctor will recommend you a scan based on the symptoms and condition of your disease.

The doctor recommends an MRI scan if there is a need for a more detailed image of your tissues, ligaments, or organs. While a CT scan is recommended to get a generalized image of your body part, organs, or images of the fracture area.

A doctor decides the type of scan to be performed based on a few factors, such as:

  • The level of detail for images necessary to diagnose the disease

  • Pregnancy

  • Reason for the scan

  • Whether a person has claustrophobia, makes the MRI scan intolerable.

  • Whether a person has any metal in their body

It's easy to get confused between the two scans, especially when you are having these scans for the first time.

However, a doctor or medical professional will guide and recommend you the right scan based on your disease condition and symptoms.


An MRI scan produces a detailed view of the tissues and organs while a CT scan from the CT scan in Noida is usually preferred for larger body parts.

Both CT scans and MRI scans have low risk and produce detailed images that help the doctor to diagnose a specific condition properly.

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