How is an MRI different than an X-Ray or CT scan?

There is no ionizing radiation (X-rays) involved in producing an MRI scan. By using a strong magnetic field and pulses of radio waves to make images of structures inside the body, an MRI scan prevents a person from any exposure to X-Rays or any other damaging forms of radiation.

MRI views of head

MRI scans are produced in such a way that it is possible to take pictures from almost every angle, whereas a CT scan only shows pictures horizontally. MRI scans give you a more 360 degree view where CT scans are more like very thin slices of bread.

MRI scans are generally more detailed, too. The difference between normal and abnormal tissue is often clearer on the MRI scan than on the CT scan.

GOOD SOURCES FOR FURTHER READING: Dictionary of Medical Terms, 4th Edition, from A&C Black Publishers Ltd., Grey's Anatomy, The Classic Collector's Edition, by Henry Gray, Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, Second Edition by Mayo Clinic, Howard Gallager, Mayo Foundation, Women's Health, Men's Health and Health for Seniors all by Professor Peter Abrahams, the National Cancer Institute, the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Radiology.