What better and more informative than CT or MRI of the spine?

The Essence of the diagnostics on these machines are different, but a lot of people thinks that they are identical. MRI or CT of the spine – which is better? CT scan – a type of x-ray by which it is more convenient to look at the bones and solid structures, while MRI is based on electromagnetic fields. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) should be used for the investigation of soft tissues and organs. But for the spine, this method is suitable. Under the influence of magnetic radiation from the hydrogen atoms are distributed in a different way, which gives the opportunity to obtain information about the state of health of the person. The similarity of the methods only in that the data of the present study are transmitted to a monitor. All changes are recorded and processed by a computer.

back trouble

What is more effective, MRI or CT of the spine? with In CT people exposed to radiation, and therefore should not do it more than 1 time per year. In relation to radiation and radiation doses, MRI safer. It emits no radiation.

Indications for MRI and CT of the spine

Computed tomography of the spine is indispensable in the detection of internal bleeding and injuries.

MRI reveals abnormalities in the formation or pathology in the soft tissues of the spine. Therefore, if there is a suspicion on the defects in the spinal cord, it is reasonable to do an MRI, when the warp or trauma of bones and CT scans.

Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography provide dissimilar characteristics of the patient, because the test is uneven. MRI well see:

  1. Hernia.
  2. Tumor.
  3. Correctly and are fabric elements that connect to the spine.
  4. developmental disorders of the spinal cord.
  5. Places the development of pathology.
  6. Inflamed nerves.
  7. the Presence of infectious lesions and the halo distribution.


Computer tomography allows to know whether there is a violation of the integrity of the hard tissues of the body. Among them:

  1. the Injured parts of the back.
  2. Bruises.
  3. Violation of integrity or misalignment of the skeleton.
  4. Diseases that destroy bone.

In conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging to do a CT scan of the spine is possible only in the case where there is suspicion of inflammation or acute infection. If you combine both methods, the results will be more reliable.

If there is a injury, doctors often sent for CT scan of the bones, as it will help more to detect bleeding inside. The survey lasts for only 3-6 minutes. Fast results can save a person from death. When life hangs in the balance and the decision with the surgeon a few minutes, a CT scan of the spine becomes very valuable.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of MRI is that it diagnoses the tumor even at a very early stage of its development. Visible scarring tissue as a result of surgical interventions. You can distinguish them from internal pathologies and injuries. MRI is a necessary technique in the practice of oncologists and neurologists.


The Specialist will suggest what is best to do CT or MRI. It depends on the presumptive diagnosis of the patient, and individual peculiarities. Each of the methods has a number of contraindications.

Many doctors have highlighted the benefits of KT, saying that the best means of examination – CT. The surgeon sees the tissue and is able to determine their density, which gives the opportunity to diagnose a number of diseases or to ascertain the absence of pathology. But in MRI the quality of the fabrics is evaluated only visually. If the patient has the opportunity to choose what kind of study to conduct, some advise to give preference to CT scans of the bones.

the accuracy of the results of radiography

In most situations, patients with fractures and injuries of the bones, doctors prescribe a simple x-ray. It is believed that this method best and it doesn't make sense to replace it with a more informative ways. When the above CT and radiation dose.

For example, when it is necessary to assess the condition of the lumbar spine, more suitable for a cat scan and x-rays will help determine what's wrong. It is better to show:

  • space warping
  • the presence of scoliosis and its degree;
  • type of scoliosis.

This will help the doctor to prescribe more effective treatment. When more attention is required for the lumbar spine, it can later be examined by CT. The doctor can assess the condition of the wheels, measure the height of the vertebrae. If there is severe pain in the spine, this is not necessary. This also applies to the thorax.

If a person feels a sharp pain in the lower back, which gives and in the lower limbs, there may be not a simple curvature, but more serious process. In this scenario, inevitable computed tomography of the lumbar spine. Likely developmentintervertebral hernia, or the pressure of the hard tissues on the spinal cord. So, computed tomography of the spine perfectly complements x-ray examination.

The Best way to survey is the one in which after x-rays, if there is a wider range of pathologies than expected, the patient will do a CT scan. Such consistency techniques are diagnosed with cancer of the spinal cord. Most patients thus affected are the lumbar spine. Timely assistance of a surgeon will save a person from suffering and death.

Advice of the attending physician

Contraindications to these methods of diagnosis

Because this study used higher doses of radiation, not to do a CT scan for pregnant and lactating women. In the first and in the second case, the child will suffer. It is impossible to make a CT scan to people with pacemakers or other embedded devices. Contraindications relate and CT with contrast agent (a substance that is injected into veins for diagnostic best effect). It helps to see the boundaries of tumors and to determine the damage to the vessels. You should not post that type of study:

  1. Pregnant women, because dye is bad for the child.
  2. Nursing. The contrast is in breast milk that is unsafe. Should take a couple days to let the substance out of the body. Then you can resume breastfeeding.
  3. People with chronic renal failure. In their case the contrast is not excreted fully.
  4. If the person is in a state of shock, insane, or severely injured.
  5. When the patient cannot tolerate the contrast. Allergic reactions are possible in 5% of cases.

The Best option is to check the reaction to the substance before the test. Not less important and preparation for examinations. Those patients who have contraindications to CT no bone must be removed before the procedure or in advance to leave at home metal jewelry, watches. If the clothes are metallic elements, have to get rid of it. Foreign objects much in the way of carrying out a computer tomography.

It is Important that we survey all of the tests and the results of early diagnostics on CT or other devices that the doctor has developed the most complete picture and he had an idea about the possible diagnosis and were able to compare data. This is the best solution, and used in medical practice constantly.

To conduct the study the patient is positioned on a movable stretcher and sent to a special room for examination. You will need to hold your breath before beginning the procedure, the doctor checked the setting of the equipment.

The Surface on which the procedure is carried out, will from time to time a little to move during manipulation. In this period will be noise from operating equipment.

The Output of make doctor. It analyzes the pictures and writes the opinion, a copy of which, together with other documents are transferred to the patient. Now, many of the surveyed clinics offer patients to receive results in electronic form.

CT is a fairly safe diagnostic procedure, if to take into account all contraindications.

do Not be afraid of high radiation dose because of the big harm will not put. Its value is acceptable and safe for humans. However, you should not do CT often.