Is MRI a Better Option for Detecting Muscle Damage Compared to CT Scan?

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  • Thread starter Greg Bernhardt
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In summary, the conversation discusses the choice between CT scans and MRI for detecting muscle damage. While CT scans may be quicker and less expensive, they also come with a higher radiation dose, which should be considered. Some individuals in the conversation believe the radiation dose is negligible, but others argue that it is a significant concern and alternative techniques should be considered. Overall, it is best to trust the doctor's discretion in choosing the appropriate imaging technique.
  • #1
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In the case of detecting muscle damage, would there be any reason to choose a CT scan over MRI? I know MRI takes longer and can be more expensive, but the CT scan radiation seems to be high enough to try and avoid it if possible. fyi, I am in communication with a doctor, but he's taking ages to get back to me :)
 
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  • #2
We can't dispense medical information on PF :-p but I know which one I'd prefer.
 
  • #3
You're not planning to have a CT scan every week right? I don't think you need to worry about the radiation. I don't know which one would be better, the radiologist should know :)
 
  • #4
depends on where you are.

in Canada, waitlists for MRIs are insanely long. they're also more expensive, meaning that doctors may be reluctant to designate government allocated funds for minor problems.

like the above poster said, the rad exposure is negligible.

the exact amount depends on what region you're getting scanned.

there's a handy little table on the wiki page for comparison:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-ray_computed_tomography#Scan_dose

it states that avg environmental rad dose is 2.4msv... you can compare that to the dose you'll receive for a specific body part.
 
  • #8
Thanks all! Gives me good ammo to bring to my doctor! The region is my very lower abdomen. I believe I have a sports hernia (too much soccer).
This is very close to my "sensitive organs", so I don't need any ionized radiation down there :D
 
  • #9
Some persons in this thread regard the radiation dose of a CT scan as negligible.
This is certainly not true. CT scans make up for most of the diagnostic medical radiation dose in the general population and the dose received in one CT is -depending on the scan - equivalent to several years of natural radiation dose. Already now the dose due to medical examinations in industrialized countries is higher than the natural radiation and this is mainly due to CT examinations.
The general rule in radiation protection is called "ALARA", "as low as reasonably achievable" whence at least I would avoid a CT if alternative techniques are available.
Furthermore, to detect a damage in soft tissue, MRT is usually preferable.

The German Federal Office for Radiation Protection has a nice brochure on radiation burden of medical examinations. Although it is in German, the diagrams may be informative to non-German speakers, too:
http://www.bfs.de/en/bfs/publikationen/broschueren/ionisierende_strahlung/medizin/STTH_Roentgen.pdf
There's also a similar but shorter text in English:
http://www.bfs.de/en/bfs/publikationen/broschueren/ionisierende_strahlung/medizin/BRO_Roentgen_Nutzen_und_Risiko_eng.pdf

You can see that in particular CT scans of the abdomen go in hand with quite high doses of 8 to 20
mSv.
 
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  • #10
Am I right in thinking radiation dosage is cumulative over ones lifetime?
If so would it be possible to put an average dosage figure on say someone of the age of 70 ? (randomly chosen age - no specific reason)
 
  • #11
I would defer to the doctor's discretion as he/she should know what he's looking for and how he best may find that. The only caveat is that I'd make sure his decision in no way reflected some sort of financial conservatism.
 

Related to Is MRI a Better Option for Detecting Muscle Damage Compared to CT Scan?

1. How does MRI differ from CT scan in terms of imaging technique?

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the body's soft tissues, while CT (Computed Tomography) scan uses X-rays to create cross-sectional images of the body.

2. Which imaging technique is better for detecting tumors?

MRI is generally considered better for detecting tumors, especially in the brain, spine, and musculoskeletal system. This is because MRI can provide more detailed images of soft tissues, making it easier to differentiate between healthy and abnormal tissue.

3. Are there any risks associated with MRI and CT scan?

MRI and CT scan are both considered safe imaging techniques, however, they do carry some risks. MRI uses powerful magnets, so patients with metal implants or devices in their body may not be able to undergo this procedure. CT scan uses radiation, which carries a small risk of cancer, but the benefits usually outweigh this risk.

4. Can both MRI and CT scan be used to diagnose the same conditions?

Yes, both MRI and CT scan can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions, but they may be better suited for different types of conditions. For example, MRI is better for soft tissue injuries and neurological disorders, while CT scan is better for bone fractures and lung conditions.

5. Which imaging technique is more expensive?

MRI is generally more expensive than CT scan, as it requires more advanced technology and longer scan times. However, the cost may vary depending on the specific procedure and location. It is best to consult with your healthcare provider or insurance company for accurate pricing information.

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