CT cheaper than MRI?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lenasvn, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Which is cheaper? CT?

    I am going to Dr. Carenot in 9 days, and want to push for tests, but go for less pricy,,, makes sense?
  2. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

  3. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    A CT scan is ususlly cheaper than an MRI.

    You also might consider the reason for the test. An MRI can show things that a CT scan may not.

    Also consider your insurance, most including Medicare require medical nasesity mean the diagnosis (made by your physician) must show good cause for the CT or MRI (just a little thing to take into consideration.


  4. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    What test are you having done. It could be that one is better than the other or even a different type of test.

    MRI's cost a lot more than CT's but also are better for some procedures and of course have no rads.

    Love Anne C
  5. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    thanks for replies, and sorry about my late response. I want one done on my cervical spine since I believe I have nerve compression that makes my arms pretty useless. Maybe if he does an standard x-ray first to see if there's actual damage/deterioration on my disks, he may be allowed insurancewise to proceed with whichever? Either way, i need to convince him I'm not kidding around. I lost 2 professions because I can't use my arms, one being a sports massage therapist. Now I can't even whisk gravy.
  6. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    you have more than a good reason. I would ask the physician how he/she feels about exploring that path. I would also tell him/her what you stated here.

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope you find releif.


  7. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    From "Go Ask Alice" on the web:

    CT scans and MRIs are both diagnostic tests that provide us with high-resolution pictures of the structure of any organ or area of the body which requires a thorough examination. Both tests take place in big, somewhat intimidating machines. They each us e computers to construct pictures of the inside of the body. There are, however, inherent differences in these tests' mechanisms, as well as sophistication and applications. Since CT scans were developed and used before MRIs (in 1972), let's discuss them first. CT, or CAT, stands for "computerized axial tomography." Basically, CT scans consist of a highly sensitive x-ray beam that is focused on a specific plane of the body. As this beam passes through the body, it is picked up by a detector, which feeds the information it receives into a computer. The computer then analyzes the information on the basis of tissue density. This analyzed data is then fed into a cathode ray tube (the device responsible for producing pictures on your TV screen), and a picture of the x-rayed, cross-section of the body is produced. Bone shows up as white; gases and liquids as black; and, tissue as varying shades of gray, depending on its densi ty.

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was developed later than CT scanning, first being used in the late 1980s. An MRI machine uses computer-controlled radio waves and very big magnets, which create a magnetic field roughly 25,000 times stronger than the eart h's magnetic field. After the machine creates a magnetic field, it sends radio waves into the body and then measures the response of its cells (how much energy they release) with a computer. From these responses, the computer is able to create a three-d imensional picture of the inside of the body. MRI makes use of the fact that all living cells have a certain magnetic quality to them; because of this, MRI can provide a look at the biochemistry of living cells.

    Both tests provide detailed pictures of areas of the body that used to be inaccessible by conventional x-rays. Therefore, 20 - 25 years ago, exploratory or invasive surgery may have been required. CT scans give us excellent information on anatomical fea tures and tissue density (this allows for the detection of tumors, and sometimes the ability to distinguish between malignant and benign tumors). CT scans can also detect calcium deposits, cysts, and abscesses. They are often used in place of ultrasound for obese patients because fat deposits often hinder ultrasonic waves. CT scanning does carry with it the risks associated with x-ray exposure, although it is significantly less than that from ordinary x-rays.

    On the other hand, MRI has no known associated health risks. However, people with pacemakers, aneurysm clips, or other implants that contain magnetic materials are generally advised not to undergo MRI testing. What can be learned from MRIs is, generally , more sophisticated and detailed than from CT scanning. MRI is best put to use in examining the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). It can also be used to identify tumors, strokes, degenerative diseases, inflammation, infection, and oth er abnormalities in organs and other soft tissue of the body. One last major difference is cost -- MRIs cost a lot more than CT scans.

    "With or without dye" simply refers to a contrasting agent that is sometimes used with these tests. It is either injected into or ingested by the patient. When the test is performed, the contrast allows the radiologist to see more clearly the image of a certain area or organ of the body.

    There are other more complicated differences than Alice has described here, especially in terms of how the tests actually work. Alice hopes that she was still able to shed some light on the basic differences between the two tests. If you want to know mo re, especially if you are having one of these tests done, you can ask for information at a radiology department, where you have to go for these tests. And, if the answers you're given still aren't enough, ask one of the technicians or your doctor.

    Interesting, and I hope it helps!

    Warm Wishes, Jeannette
  8. darude

    darude New Member

    I had a CT scan of brain and it came out normal. I then had an MRI which showed 40 lesions and a tumour.
  9. MamaR

    MamaR New Member

    I just wanted to tell you that a doc told me that a CT is just a glorified xray. The MRI shows in much more detail.

    I sure hope that you are doing well. I am in alot of pain...will go for now. But, please know that I am thinking of you!!

  10. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I even forgot abou this post.

    My MD finally referred me to the rheumy that comes to town every 2 weeks. FINALLY! After waiting for my now fired doc. to do something, my new one ran x-rays, saw nothing (expected) so he is referring me. YES! I have heard he is superb too, the lab lady told me "he saved my life", she was immobile and hurting bad. Now she runs the x-ray lab, she is 60 and runs faster than me. I can't run even,,,LOL! I just wobble after her.
    Maybe I'll finally get a diagnosis that rhymes better than the one my "fired" doc gave me. I am sure he will run imaging nessesary to diagnose, besides history and all.

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