Infographics - CT and MRI Imaging Diagnostic for your pets

X-rays are 2 dimensional, which is why complex cases require multiple x-rays 

CT Scan

CT Scan is made from x-rays.  Regular x-rays sends 1 beam. CT scanner sends many beams in an arc around the body. Unlike regular x-ray, it can show different level of tissue densities. In regular x-ray, bones appear white, air appears black and tissues appear grey.


What is CT Scan Slice Number?  It chiefly tells you the amount of time it takes to complete the scan.  CT slice count 64 takes less time to do a scan than CT slice count 16


OK. It is faster but does a higher slice count number give higher resolution?  Yes and No.  No, because CT slice count number is not related to resolution.

Yes, although breathings slow when your pet is under anesthesia, breathing means moving body tissues.  A faster scan time can minimize the impact of body movement from breathing, giving a better image


MRI Scans

MRI does not use x-rays. It creates images by exposing hydrogen atoms within your pet's body to a magnetic field. 
As tissues respond differently to the magnetic field alternations, a computer is able to convert the data into an image 


Tesla is the unit of measurement to define magnetic flux density.  Higher tesla number gives better resolution
So does that mean a higher MRI tesla number or a higher CT scan slice count give better diagnostic results?


Not necessarily.  Most important are the expertise of radiologists, imaging technicians and the veterinary anesthesiologists. 


CT Scan - Common Uses

Preparation / Assessment before complex surgery
e.g. operations for flat nosed breeds

Complex bone fractures
Investigate tumors, internal bleeding and injuries

MRI Scan - Common Uses

MRI is very good at examining soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments, evaluating spinal cord and the brain.  Sometimes, your vet may suggest using both CT and MRI together




Source: Vet Shawn Han


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