What’s the Difference
Between an MRI and a CT?

What’s the Difference Between an MRI and a CT?

What is a CT Scan?

CT is in Layman's terms, it's an X-ray machine hooked up to a computer. When we are scanning the patient we lay the patient flat on the table. CT uses a pencil-thin beam to take cross-sectional images of the patient's body. The beam rotates around the patient's body and we slice the patient's body like a loaf of bread. That's how CT Scans.

  • It's utilizing radiation to take the images.
  • It needs to be quick because in this day and age of course, the biggest concern we being in imaging and radiology is to keep the doses as low and safe as possible but still give us that good quality diagnostic study.
Desert Imaging

What is an MRI?

MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
MRI images the water molecules in the body and it does that with a very strong magnetic field which is the big round cylindrical tube, that's the magnetic field in there.
Coils are placed over the body part you are imaging.
So if the patient were to lay down on the table right now, we would place their shoulder into that coil and between the radio frequency, the strong magnetic field, and the coil, which acts as an antenna, we are going to produce images of the soft tissue and the bone, with MRI.


Most people
get confused

A typical MRI is going to take at least 30 minutes.
A CT Scan is typically 5 minutes.


CT is using radiation just like X-ray would be. CT is going to be excellent for organs in the body. It's going to be excellent for bony details.



MRI on the other hand uses no radiation at all. It's using a strong magnetic field and radio frequency and its specialty is soft tissue.

To schedule an appointment with Desert Imaging,
simply call:

(915) 577-0100