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Traumatic Brain Injuries: What’s the Difference Between MRIs and CT Scans?

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a nurse helping a patient get an MRI

Traumatic brain injuries often call for several different tests in order for patients to receive the right treatment. Two imaging scans, MRIs and CT scans, may be used to help a patient on their road to recovery. Learn the difference between these two scans and how either one may help you.

MRIs vs. CT Scans

A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan and a Computed Tomography (CT) scan are two types of imaging exams used to help doctors diagnose a wide range of medical conditions. However, each test may be used in different situations.

An MRI uses a powerful magnet to send radio waves throughout the body. These waves form highly detailed pictures of the body’s structures, including soft tissues and blood vessels. MRIs differ from CT scans and X-rays in that they don’t use radiation. MRIs are helpful in detecting musculoskeletal conditions, including:

  • Cartilage loss
  • Nerve compression
  • Spinal injuries
  • Torn tendons and ligaments

CT scans, on the other hand, send radiation (as opposed to radio waves) throughout the body. CT scans provide a much greater level of detail than X-rays, as well as 360-degree views of the body’s structures. CT scans are most helpful in emergency situations as they can be performed quickly. These situations include:

  • Blood clots
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Organ injuries

CT scans may be ordered if a patient cannot withstand radiological treatment. While CT scans are faster and provide 360-degree views of the body, they may not be as effective as MRIs in exposing subtle differences between tissues.

Traumatic brain injury victims may undergo either type of scan in the progression of their treatment. Such treatments can quickly add up and put a victim and their family into financial turmoil. If you or someone you love suffered a traumatic brain injury due to another’s negligence, our North Carolina personal injury attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Call Lanier Law Group, P.A. at (855) 757-4204 to schedule a free consultation.

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