Dr Haroons Training Centre

cars and jeeps of radiology --MRI and CT scans

Whenever i give a topic presentation i add pictures of Lamborginis to prove some radiological technical point . Being involved in consultant trainings also  in MRI and CT applications and also getting feedback about patients from them each day i get fascinated as well as intrigued by the perception of these wonderful  scanners . 

One of the neurosurgeons was telling how the new age patient was insisting on an MRI after a minor road traffic accident . No amount of convincing could do away with patient perception that CT scan  was better for him  in that instance . In accident settings often a CT scan is better than an MRI especially since it shows bone fractures and bleeds better . MRI is superior in many other cases like assessing tumors in the lower part of brain . 

Its surprising to see the vast advancements in both these scanners with the CT scans now capable of scanning the coronary arteries and MRI able to even detect emotions and where they are activated in the brain ( functional magnetic resonance imaging ) . But still like the car and jeep example each type of scanner excels in some areas better than the other . In hilly terrain very few lamborginis ( im fixated on lamborginis )  can excel the jeep while in a racetrack few jeeps can excel a lamborgini or ferrari . 

MRI has superb contrast and hence in many cases even without giving an intravenous contrast exquisite images can be produced . In some diseases MRI gives accuracy of almost 100 percent . But in cases like lung imaging often it may be even behind chest Xray in some cases . This is because of the fundamental technical principles behind each of scanning technologies . 

Coming back to the neurosurgeons patient who insisted on an MRI scan i was surprised to find that the patient was not wearing a helmet . Take home message is CTs are like jeeps and MRIs are like cars . Both are great and each has its strength and weakness and for the biker the take home message is Wear a helmet . 

Go Back