CT vs. MRI Scan
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer. When someone experiences a serious neurological injury or insult, they often require scanning to get a better picture of what is going on inside of their head. Two of the most common scans are CT scans and MRI, which individuals often have questions about.
Comparing the Cost of the Scans
Many people are concerned about the cost of healthcare and imaging studies can be expensive. If someone has symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, a CT scan or an MRI can be helpful in the diagnosis. CT scans are generally cheaper than an MRI and, therefore, the barrier to receiving a CT scan is also lower. While CT scans aren’t inexpensive, they generally pale in comparison to the cost of an MRI. Getting insurance to cover the costs of these procedures is dependent on the symptoms that the individual presents with.
Information on Radiation Exposure
People are also concerned about the radiation that might accompany these scans. These images are important is determining the proper treatment option; however, it is also important to limit the side effects of these scans whenever possible. CT scans have a high amount of radiation because it generates its image using x-rays in three dimensions. Therefore, CT scans are used only if absolutely necessary. On the other hand, MRI scans use no radiation at all and generate their images using a magnetic field instead.
Timing of the Scans
In emergency situations, time is of the essence and images could be needed rapidly. In this situation, CT scans are generally used first because they can be completed much more quickly. If physicians have the information quickly, decisions regarding patient treatment can be made more quickly as well, possibly saving a life. MRI scans can take longer to produce an image and could slow down the treatment process at a time when speed is necessary.
The ultimate question is typically in regards to the diagnostic value of both of these scans. When it comes to a traumatic brain injury, an MRI generally provides more detailed images than a CT scan does; however, a CT scan is still exceptional at identifying bleeds in the brain or possible injuries to the bones of the skull. If there is concern about the integrity of the brain tissue itself, an MRI is going to do a better job of painting this picture than a CT scan will.
Sacramento Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer. A neurological injury can be devastating for an individual and their family. Any family that is struggling with a serious head or brain injury should reach out to me at (916) 921-6400 locally or toll-free (800) 404-5400 for friendly advice without any charge or obligation.
There is a forum of trial lawyers across the country who have won $1 million for clients via verdicts or agreements in case settlements. They are called the Million Dollar Advocates and I am a member of the California chapter.
Please look at my settlements and verdicts in earlier cases.
Image Attribution: The image from the top was taken from Unsplash.