What is the difference between a PET scan and MRI?

People regularly call our clinic to ask us to explain the difference between a PET scan and an MRI.

At AIM Medical Imaging, we offer only MRI. The advanced technology at our Vancouver clinic allows us to offer whole body scans and enables us to detect cancer anywhere in the body.

Most MRI machines are a long coffin-like tube, but our scanner uses wide open bore technology so it is shorter and much more open than a regular MRI machine. This technology allows 60% of the routine exams at our clinic to be completed with our patients’ heads outside of the scanner, which is great for claustrophobic or larger patients.

There is no preparation involved when using MRI and there is absolutely no radiation. MRI uses a magnetic field to create images so patients will be asked to remove any metal objects, as wearing metal blurs the detailed 3D images produced during the exam.

Both MRI and PET scans can be used to diagnose a health condition, see how a condition is developing and evaluate how effective an ongoing treatment is. The main difference is that PET scans use harmful radiation.

According to Medical News Today, “PET scans are generally used alongside X-rays or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans. Doctors use PET scans as a complementary test to these main ones.”

Private clinics, like AIM Medical Imaging, do not offer PET scans. To get a PET scan patients would have to be added to a waitlist in the public healthcare system.

The images produced by MRI are clearer than a PET scan. Compare the images below.

Want to know more about the difference between MRI and PET scans? Click the links below to see articles on Medical News Today explaining MRI and PET scans:

Medical News Today MRI Information

Medical News Today PET Scan Information

2012-07-11T18:56:49-04:00July 11th, 2012|MRI Vancouver|