Home Knowledge base Advanced Diagnostics: CT Scans, MRI Scans and More for Accurate Diagnosis

Advanced Diagnostics: CT Scans, MRI Scans and More for Accurate Diagnosis

If medical specialists want to examine the health of someone's body, they can do so through an MRI or CT scan, among other methods. In both scans, a cross-section of the body is made. With the help of these scans, a medical specialist can assess what might be going on. However, there is a difference between both scanning methods. In this blog, we'll tell you the biggest differences between an MRI scan and a CT scan.

Ring vs. tunnel
The appearance of a CT scanner and MRI scanner is very similar. However, there is a big difference. A CT scanner has a ring through which you pass. In an MRI scanner, you enter a tunnel. People who suffer from claustrophobia may have difficulty with an MRI scan, which can negatively affect their health. However, it is not impossible to undergo an MRI scan with claustrophobia by taking appropriate measures to manage anxiety and ensure proper care is taken to protect their health during the procedure.

Sound is also a significant difference between an MRI scan and a CT scan. A CT scanner is silent, unlike an MRI scanner. During an MRI scan, you can hear noise. You are provided with headphones, possibly with your favorite music, which makes the loud ticking noise less noticeable during the examination.


A CT scan is generally faster than an MRI scan, taking usually 5 to 15 minutes, while an MRI scan can take up to half an hour or even longer. Due to its speed, a CT scan is often preferred in emergency situations. However, an MRI scan provides a more detailed image of tissues, among other things, which may be crucial for accurate diagnosis. Therefore, the situation can be decisive in choosing which scanning method to use.

Soft tissues

In an MRI scan, the parts of the body that contain hydrogen atoms are more visible than parts that do not contain these atoms. Soft tissues, such as organs and muscles, contain more water than bones and are therefore better visible on an MRI scan. However, MRI scans can be more expensive than other imaging techniques such as X-rays or CT scans.

In general, an MRI scan can provide a good image of the brain, heart, spinal cord, nerves, muscles, tendons, and organs in the abdomen, making it a valuable diagnostic tool for a wide range of medical conditions. On the other hand, a CT scan is often a more cost-effective option. A CT scan can provide clear images of the brain, (blood) vessels, lungs, abdominal organs, and bones. While it may not be as detailed as an MRI scan, it is generally faster and less expensive.

Overall, the choice between an MRI and CT scan often depends on the specific medical situation, the costs involved, and the type of tissue being imaged. Soft tissues are better visualized on an MRI, but a CT scan may be more suitable for imaging bones and other hard tissues.

X-rays vs. magnetic field

One major difference between X-rays and MRI scans is the type of technology used for diagnostic imaging. A CT scanner uses X-rays, while an MRI scanner uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field.

While both imaging techniques have their advantages, it's important to consider the potential impact on a patient's health. Due to the strong magnetic field of an MRI scanner, it's crucial that no metal parts are taken into the scanner. Metal objects such as zippers on clothing, braces, piercings, or any metal in the body can be moved or disrupted by the magnetic force. However, the magnetic field itself is not harmful to the body.

At Prescan, we prioritize our patients' health by choosing an MRI scan over a CT scan. This decision is based on the fact that a CT scan uses X-rays, which expose patients to radiation. In general, doctors will only choose a CT scan when there is no other option. By using MRI scans, we can avoid exposing patients to unnecessary radiation while still obtaining high-quality diagnostic images.

Most chosen examination
  • Five MRI scans of your vital organs and arteries
  • Five MRI scans of your vital organs and arteries
  • Laboratory testing
  • Five MRI scans of your vital organs and arteries
  • Laboratory testing
  • CT heart (calcium score check)
Complete insight into your health in 5 steps.

What can you expect when you opt for a health check at Prescan? We have listed it step by step for you; from the intake and planning of your appointment to the research results and our aftercare.

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