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Old 01-29-2013, 07:04 AM
 
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I have a friend who is having some problems in her kidney; she was advised to do a CT scan or a MRI to check what the problem is. I would just like to know what the difference among the two is and which is more appropriate imaging device for this situation?
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Central New York
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Well it all depends on what the doctor is looking for really. Also, is she getting a CT Scan with contrast dye or without? Sometimes patients may get a CT Scan and it suggests getting a MRI to better assess what the problem is.

An MRI can give a better image of the kidneys. It is more advanced in a sense.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:23 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
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Default MRI vs CT

If you want a more in-depth understanding of the differences and tradeoffs, you will want to do some reading here . Magnetic resonance imaging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basically CT's are multiple Xrays. MRI uses magnetic technology. MRI's are more expensive. Both have their pros and cons.

If kidney problem is stones, then a standard KUB X-ray is usually enough to show size and location.

Be careful if procedure calls for "contrast dyes". Many people are allergic and don't know it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
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Question Doc couldn't decide ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by veronicasmithson View Post
I have a friend who is having some problems in her kidney; she was advised to do a CT scan or a MRI to check what the problem is. I would just like to know what the difference among the two is and which is more appropriate imaging device for this situation?
ISTM that the doc should be making that decision based on the exact nature of the problem. I would be guessing that the doc is saying that a CT would be OK, but MRI would be better if cost is not an issue. Also some people who have had or seen MRIs are scared of the machine. I've had both. They weren't that much different.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reed303 View Post
ISTM that the doc should be making that decision based on the exact nature of the problem. I would be guessing that the doc is saying that a CT would be OK, but MRI would be better if cost is not an issue. Also some people who have had or seen MRIs are scared of the machine. I've had both. They weren't that much different.
I have had both, so has hubby and we didn't find them much different. MRI are supposedly safer, but the ongologist did tell hubby, the amount of radiation from CT have been reduced considerably.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:47 PM
 
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MRIs are about 2000$ more expensive too. Sometimes insurance gives a hard time about paying for them before other options are tried first.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spazkat9696 View Post
MRIs are about 2000$ more expensive too. Sometimes insurance gives a hard time about paying for them before other options are tried first.
our insurance company bills us the same, whether we do MRI or CT. Our co is exactly the same, but you are right MRI are much more expensive.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:00 PM
 
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I'm a physician so I can share some information regarding this. I'll put this in layman's terms so you can understand this.

A CT without contrast is the study of choice for evaluating for kidney stone. The contrast dye can hide or make it difficult to see the stone. A CT is better than X-rays due to it's sensitivity and ability to pick up certain types of stones that X-ray can't see.

MRI's are superior to CT in every way. They don't use radiation. They provide better imaging particularly of soft tissue with more detail. The reason we don't order them is they are extremely expensive and unnecessary in most cases. They also tend to take a little longer to peform. We typically only use MRI in select cases or in cases where we want more information and are unsure based on the CT results. CT's use radiation but the amount of radiation is overstated and the fears are overstated regarding health risks. I would be comfortable getting CT's if I needed them.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:09 AM
 
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Another VERY Important thing the physician should have mentioned is if you have any metal in your body like staples etc. you need to inform a clinic of this before getting an MRI, magnetic force can move things around in your body.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,275 posts, read 79,447,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azriverfan. View Post
I'm a physician so I can share some information regarding this. I'll put this in layman's terms so you can understand this.

A CT without contrast is the study of choice for evaluating for kidney stone. The contrast dye can hide or make it difficult to see the stone. A CT is better than X-rays due to it's sensitivity and ability to pick up certain types of stones that X-ray can't see.

MRI's are superior to CT in every way. They don't use radiation. They provide better imaging particularly of soft tissue with more detail. The reason we don't order them is they are extremely expensive and unnecessary in most cases. They also tend to take a little longer to peform. We typically only use MRI in select cases or in cases where we want more information and are unsure based on the CT results. CT's use radiation but the amount of radiation is overstated and the fears are overstated regarding health risks. I would be comfortable getting CT's if I needed them.
Thanks, it is always good to get information from someone who has experience and training. So many of us rely on what others say and on the net, which can be helpful but sometimes a little too general. You are saying pretty much what the doctors told my husband...
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