When Should You Choose MRI Over CT, PET or Ultrasound?

One of our patients recently asked Dr. Attariwala some great questions: When is MRI most suitable for diagnostic imaging? What tissues/areas of the body are best imaged with MRI? How does MRI compare with other imaging modalities such as CT, FDG PET and Ultrasound?

MRI and Ultrasound are, wherever possible, preferable to CT and PET diagnostics because they are free from ionizing radiation. MRI is,Comparison of AIM MRI to other diagnostic imaging typesfor the most part, the safest and most effective means of diagnostic imaging. However, there are certain occasions where CT and PET exams are the standard test for the most conclusive results.

The adjacent chart was created by Dr. Attariwala to answer the above questions posed to us by our patient.

As you can see from the green tabs on the chart, AIM MRI ranks “Best” 77 per cent of the time. In nearly all cases, MRI is the most appropriate diagnostic choice, whether the patient is looking for the onset of cancers, a picture of the structure of bones and tissues, or answers to neurological concerns.

-CT scans are best for kidney stones; MRI is not suitable for imaging kidney stones because once calcification occurs it is difficult to differentiate stones from other tissues–calcification gives no signal in MRI!

-FDG/PET is the gold standard for imaging the esophagus and screening for lung cancer.

These exceptions excluded, AIM MRI is far superior to other diagnostic tests.