Home Health MRI Or CT Scan Of Shoulder Joint What Is Better – Difference & Advantage -2021 Guide

MRI Or CT Scan Of Shoulder Joint What Is Better – Difference & Advantage -2021 Guide

by Robin Whyte

The essence of the MRI method of the shoulder joint

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is actively used in modern medicine. MRI is an effective, very informative and safe method of instrumental diagnosis. High intensity magnetic waves affect a certain area of the human body and influence the hydrogen atoms inside the cells, making them move in a certain order.

Energy is released in the background of the cells’ movement. A specially designed apparatus scans these processes and provides a tomogram. The screen of the monitor displays a picture, which the doctor can print on a special film.

Classical research procedures – X-rays or ultrasound – are used more often to diagnose the shoulder joint. But MRI of the shoulder joint differs from traditional methods in high accuracy and informative value. The impact of harmful ionizing radiation on the human body is completely excluded.

In some cases, in order to clearly determine the structure and size of pathological changes, the contrasting substance gadolinium is used.

Diagnostic techniques for the shoulder joint

img source: healthline.com

A variety of imaging techniques are used to diagnose shoulder injuries, including:

  • X-rays;
  • computerized tomography (MSCT);
  • Ultrasonography (ultrasound);
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Each method of examination has its own advantages and disadvantages. Currently, the leading role in imaging the extra- and intra-articular structures of the shoulder joint is played by MRI, which allows detection of soft tissue and bone damage in the joints. It can be performed using two basic protocols – non-contrast imaging and MRI of the shoulder joint with paramagnetic contrast agents (aka MR arthrography). Spiral computed tomography plays a leading role in the evaluation of the shoulder bones.

MRI of the shoulder

img source: medicalnewstoday.com

Summary of the study

  • Duration: 30-40 minutes
  • Training requirement: None
  • Physician’s appointment: Not required
  • Application of contrast: By doctor’s prescription
  • Contraindications and restrictions: Yes
  • Recommended power of device: Any
  • Time of delivery: 30-40 minutes
  • What is included in the price: Conclusion + recording of images

CT scan of the shoulder

Summary of the study

  • Duration: 3-7 minutes
  • Training requirement: None
  • Physician’s appointment: Not required
  • Application of contrast: By doctor’s prescription
  • Contraindications and restrictions: Yes
  • Minimum power of device: Any
  • Time of delivery: 30-40 minutes
  • What is included in the price: Conclusion + images

CT and MRI scans of the shoulder joint – what’s the difference?

img source: starimagingindia.com

There is a major difference in the principle of action of CT and MRI scans. During a CT (MSCT) of the shoulder joint, X-rays are applied to the area of the human body under study. In magnetic resonance imaging, there is no radiation dose. Any diagnostic center such as MriCfl has MRI equipment that does not irradiate patients. The images are obtained from the effect of nuclear magnetic resonance – that is, the oscillation of hydrogen atoms in tissue cells when they are exposed to a strong magnetic field and radiofrequency pulses.

When is an MRI of the shoulder joint better than a CT scan of the shoulder?

In St. Petersburg medical centers, examination of the shoulder joint using magnetic resonance is a profiling diagnostic study of articular tissue pathologies. It is the MRI of the shoulder joint that provides data on the condition of joints, soft tissues and cartilage. A shoulder CT scan will show well:

  • The causes of obscure pain in the shoulder, crunching in the shoulder;
  • consequences of trauma in the shoulder joint, fracture;
  • location of torn ligaments, periodic dislocations;
  • causes of swelling in the shoulder area;
  • impingement of nerves, tendons.

MRI also helps distinguish healthy tissue from damaged tissue when a tumor or cancerous metastases are suspected, and helps assess the pattern of injuries and their location.

Unlike a CT scan of the shoulder, MRI can be used repeatedly when examining the health of children and pregnant women. In terms of time, a shoulder MRI may require ten to twenty minutes of the patient being stationary in the confined space of the MRI chamber. A shoulder CT scan only takes up to ten seconds, which is preferable for people who are claustrophobic or have a fear of confined spaces.

Magnetic resonance imaging has a number of absolute contraindications, which currently include the presence of a cardiac pacemaker, electronic or ferromagnetic middle ear implants, large metal implants and ferromagnetic debris, and the presence of large blood clips of the cerebral vessels.

When is a CT scan of the shoulder better than an MRI of the shoulder?

img source: dicardiology.com

Computed X-ray examination of the shoulder is more recommended for diagnosing the bone component of the human body, namely: traumatic injuries of human shoulder bones; incorrectly fused bones, presence of bone spurs; bone lesions of tumor nature, both primary and secondary; atherosclerotic changes of blood vessels.

Contraindications for MSCT may include pregnancy and breastfeeding. CT scanning is also not recommended for young children without serious medical indications due to radiation exposure.

MRI, CT, ultrasound, or X-ray of the shoulder – which is better?

MRI and CT scans of the shoulder joint are far superior to X-rays or ultrasound. In orthopedics, for example, ligaments, cartilage, and joints are the subject of CT scans. MRI and CT scans are widely used to detect destructive changes in bone tissue. Topographic scans show early bone loss of a few percent, whereas X-rays detect bone resorption only at the stage where the loss is at least 40%. A CT scan of the shoulder joint will show the condition of the injured bones much more accurately than a conventional radiograph. However, ultrasound and X-rays of the shoulder are still cheaper in cost than MRI or CT scan of the shoulder, and easier to perform. Therefore, the decision of which is still better to do in your case: MRI, CT scan, X-ray or ultrasound of the shoulder should be decided by your doctor. Information about the patient’s features will allow the doctor to make the right choice between CT, X-ray, ultrasound and MRI when prescribing the most effective examination.

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