I've sufffered from severe headachs going on a year now, my neuro ordered a CT and MRI of the brain. The CT scan showed low-density in the left temporal region of the brain. This showed up on all views of the CT scan. The Doctor then ordered a MRI of the brain that did not show any abnormalitys. He dismissed the CT findings, stating that if there were a problem with my brain the MRI would have picked it up. I also have severe problems with my memory. I've read several articals stating that CT imaging is better than MRI imaging for detecting low density problems. One more thing the CT scan that showed low density was w/o contrast. The CT with contrast did not detect the low density. Could the MRI images be incorrect in this case?
Thanks in Advance,
In general, MRI is a more sensitive test than CT scan.
One pitfall of CT scanning is the susceptibiliity to artifact when imaging soft tissue structures (such as brain) next to a lot of bone. This makes CT scanning of very limited use in the brainstem. The images of the temporal lobes may suffer from such artifact, as well.
Without seeing the two scans side by side, I can't say specifically whether the CT low density area is artifact or real. However, in general, if CT scan picks up something real, the MRI will show it too (usually with better definition).
One thing: CT is better at displaying acute blood (hemorrhage). That shows up as a HIGH density, not low density.
I probably should point out that "low" and "high" density refer to the ability of structures to block the passage of x-rays. For example, bone and blood, which contain calcium and iron respectively, show up as high density regions, where air and water show up as low density regions. Brain is somewhere in between. Injured brain often is revealed as a low density area.
The term "density" is purely an imaging term, having nothing to do with the mass per unit volume of the brain or other structures.
I hope this helps. As you know, this forum can't substitute for medical advice from your doctor. CCF MD mdf.
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