Difference Between CT and MRI

Technology has advanced across industries and immensely helped mankind. Although the advantages of technology are difficult to weigh across different industries, one sector got tremendously served, i.e. Healthcare or Medical.


Science Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to science

1 / 10

What is the PH of H2O?

2 / 10

Which of the following gland is present in the human mouth?

3 / 10

A passenger in a moving bus is thrown forward when the bus suddenly stops. This is explained

4 / 10

The substances that enter a chemical reaction are called __________.

5 / 10

Name the fabric which is used in making bulletproof jackets?

6 / 10

What is the scientific name of humans?

7 / 10

DNA carries the instructions for an organism to grow. DNA stands for.....

8 / 10

The 'photo' in photosynthesis means to do with...

9 / 10

The hardest substance available on earth is

10 / 10

What is the S.I unit of frequency?

Your score is


Examination of many critical illnesses has become very easy with the help of advanced diagnostic procedures, two of which are CT and MRI, which are used to capture detailed images of the internal body.

CT (Computed Tomography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans help diagnose a broad range of critical medical conditions.

Key Takeaways

  1. CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) are medical imaging techniques that provide detailed images of the inside of the body.
  2. CT scans use X-rays to produce images, while MRI scans use a strong magnetic field and radio waves.
  3. CT scans are faster and less expensive than MRI scans but expose the patient to ionizing radiation.


CT (Computed Tomography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) are medical imaging techniques used to visualize the body’s internal structure. CT uses X-rays and computer processing to produce detailed cross-sectional images of the body, while MRI uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images. CT scans are quicker and often used to diagnose emergencies or injuries, while MRI provides more detailed images and is used for the diagnosis of soft tissue injuries and disorders.


Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!

CT scan procedure is considered a comfortable, calmer, and faster procedure. It is widely used to scan the chest, abdomen, head, skeletal system, and many more.

MRI can also scan all body parts, like the chest, abdomen, and head, but it can’t scan the bone or skeletal structure.

MRI scan can efficiently scan the soft tissues, but it is more boisterous and takes prolonged processing time.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonCTMRI
DefinitionCT scan is a faster and more comfortable procedure to capture images of the internal body parts for diagnosing acute diseases using X-rays.MRI scan is a more extended and noisy procedure that captures images of the body parts except skeletal structure for diagnosis of acute diseases using strong magnetic fields and radiofrequency pulses.
Exposure to RadiationThere is minimal radiation exposure in CT scans as multiple X-rays are taken. CT scan is not recommended or strictly prohibited for pregnant women.None
CostLess expensive.More expensive.
Used ForIt is a widely used chest, abdomen, head, skeletal system, and many more.MRI can scan all body parts, like the chest, abdomen, and head, but it can’t scan the bone or skeletal system.
Any Involvement of ReactionRarely, but patients with low immunity, who previously have kidney problems, very dehydrated patients, and diabetes hold a threat to kidneys.Very rare, patients with low immunity can get allergic reactions to the IV contrast.
ComfortCT scan machine is open enough to easily accommodate the patient, so a very comfortable and non-noisy process.A narrow MRI scanning machine tube sometimes causes the patient anxiety. It is a very noisy process too.


What is CT scan?

Using an X-ray, the CT (Computed Tomography) scan captures detailed images of different body organs, bones, and tissues. There is a table on which a person or patient lies that moves through the scanning ring.

Once the scanning is done and vital parameters are captured by the machine, the same are assembled and used to create 3-D images of the said body area.

The captured images show abnormalities in respective soft tissue or bone, if any, like bone fracture, tumour, or pneumonia in the lungs.

CT scans can produce detailed images of the entire body in less than 10 minutes, and captured images are produced in slices. CT scan is used for diagnosing many critical illnesses like cancer.

It helps to identify its stage, monitor the treatment’s progress, and also survey the body to check where it has spread. CT scan is the first choice to diagnose cancer and its stage.

It is a less expensive, quick and comfortable scanning process where the patient doesn’t feel any anxiety or tiredness. But there is radiation exposure.

CT scan

What is MRI scan?

In MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan, a combination of strong magnetic fields and radiofrequency pulses are used to scan the organs and tissues of the body to capture their detailed images.

MRI can be used to scan the abdomen, chest, and head but can’t scan the body’s skeletal structure, i.e. bone.

MRI is a revolutionized medical procedure that is very helpful in diagnosing critical illnesses that require image capturing at soft tissue levels.

Examples include uterine, liver, prostate, and certain cancers that are very difficult to scan and detect using any other procedure.

In MRI, there is no exposure to radiation, but this process creates a slight discomfort to the patient as it takes a more extended period.

A narrow tube of the MRI scanning machine sometimes causes distress and anxiety to the patient, and there is noise as well. It’s an expensive medical procedure too.

mri scan

Main Differences Between CT and MRI

  1. CT scan is a diagnostic procedure that can scan the body parts using an X-ray. In contrast, MRI is a diagnostic procedure that can scan body parts using strong magnetic fields and radiofrequency pulses.
  2. CT scan is a comfortable, easy, and faster process, whereas MRI is a little complicated, noisy, and takes a little longer time in scanning.
  3. In a CT scan, images of whole-body parts or organs can be captured, including skeletal structure, whereas in MRI, skeletal structure, i.e. bones, can’t be scanned, but it can efficiently scan the soft tissues.
  4. In a CT scan, radiation exposure is involved. In an MRI, there is no exposure to radiation.
  5. CT scan is a less expensive diagnostic process, whereas MRI is a little expensive.
  6. In the CT scan, the patient seldom creates claustrophobia, whereas, in MRI, anxiety is expected due to prolonged procedural activity where the patient feels annoyed and tired.
  7. In CT scans, there is no limitation except for patients having metal implants. In contrast, in MRI, people with tattoos, metal implants, and Cardiac Pacemakers are restricted or contraindicated as it may cause an injury to the patient or can distort the image.
  8. In a CT scan, you can’t control the contrast of the images, whereas, in MRI, the contrast can be controlled or changed.
Difference Between CT and MRI
  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/ct-scan
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ct-scan/about/pac-20393675
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146309
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *