MRI and X-ray are two types of medical imaging used to help diagnose and treat a wide number of medical conditions. Sometimes multiple types of imaging tests are requested by doctors for better accuracy. Each type has its own benefits, differences and risks. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between MRIs and X-rays.
With the help of powerful magnets, an MRI takes multiple images across different areas of a body. The images can look at parts of a body horizontally, vertically or across multiple levels. The images are clearer than X-rays or CT scans and safer for frequent use. MRI are used for images of the spine, brain, blood vessels, nerves, muscles and tendons. MRIs are often preferred over X-rays if frequent imaging tests are needed, because they don’t emit radiation.
For an MRI, the patient lies flat within a large cylindrical chamber for 30 minutes or more. Detailed images are generated of specific areas while a technician monitors the patient from another room. The average cost is $1,200-$4,000.
MRIs make excessive noise during the test and the small space inside the machine can trigger claustrophobia in patients. In addition, the size of the testing chamber can be too small for some patients. MRIs can’t be used on patients with magnetic implants or medical devices. They are also 30-60 minutes in duration. The patient might have an injectable dye called contrast for an MRI and some patients can be allergic to the dye. Usually, the patient must go to a hospital or outpatient facility for an MRI.
X-rays are single flat images created using ionizing radiation. To take different angles it requires taking another image while changing positions of the body. X-rays can be processed quickly and X-ray machines are found in most medical facilities. However, the patient is exposed to radiation. The cost is $100-$1,000 per image.
X-rays are commonly used to detect bone fractures or abnormalities, tumors, calcification in body tissues and foreign objects in the body. X-rays are also used to detect heart failure, kidney failure, kidney stones, bowel obstructions and arthritis. They are the most affordable and accessible forms of medical imaging and usually require just a few minutes.
Because of radiation exposure, there can be possible long-term risks especially for children and patients who require frequent X-rays. X-rays are unsafe for those who a pregnant as well. As a rule, X-rays do not provide as much detail as an MRI.
Talk To An Expert
Both MRI and X-Ray machines are powerful tools for diagnosis and treatment. If your hospital, urgent care, veterinary clinic, practice or healthcare facility is in need of medical imaging devices, be sure to talk to an expert, like Atlantis Worldwide. Oftentimes, a refurbished or used medical imaging system can provide you with the performance you need at a price that’s much kinder to your bottom line. Plus, you’ll still get an impressive service warranty as well.
Do you have medical imaging equipment that no longer suits your practice or facility? The experts at Atlantis Worldwide might be able to help you find a buyer for the equipment you no longer use or need.
For 30 years the medical imaging experts at Atlantis Worldwide have helped the medical community with its imaging needs. From equipment selection to installation planning and service warranties, let Atlantis Worldwide help you find the ideal solution.
Some blogs you may have missed:
- The Future of Helium & MRIs
- MRI Cold Head Tips
- Handheld X-Ray Device
- 10 Most Interesting X-Ray Articles
- Should your business lease or buy medical imaging equipment?
- Free MRI Resources
Meet the author: Vikki Harmonay