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MRI vs CT Scan
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MRI vs CT Scan

I went and saw my family doctor about my migraines and he decided to refer me to a neurologist and asked that I get a CT scan.  While waiting for the neurologist to get to me, now the nurse calls me and say that I need a MRI before going to see the neurologist.  There was no mention of the MRI prior to this phone call and I wanted to make sure that this is necessary.  I don't have money to waste! ;) Doesn't a MRI and CT scan basically do the same thing? Wouldn't it be normal to get the CT scan first THEN the MRI if necessary?
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi.

A CT Scan usually is best if a suspicion for a stroke or a bleed within the brain is being considered. If there was a previous head injury,then a cranial CT scan may be the scan of choice. MRI is superior than CT scan in evaluating soft tissue changes within the brain and nearby structures. It may note inflammation or swelling which may suggest further evaluation.

What was the indication for your scan?

What symptoms do you have?

Was there any prior trauma or injury to head or neck?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
What symptoms do you have?
A CT scan is a type of sophisticated X ray to visualise the diseased tissue. An MRI on the other hand uses magnetic field. In terms of accuracy an MRI is superior to a CT scan to visualise diseased tissue. You may want to discuss it with your family doctor since he is aware of your medical history from the begining.

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1431416_tn?1283281864
Both CT scans and MRI's look a the physical structures of the brain.  Doctors will often order and MRI or CT scan for migraine sufferers to look for any physical abnormalities of the brain.  

The reason for this is the migraines are a disorder of the nervous system.  Although these test will often come back "normal", they are helpful in the treatment of migraines.
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