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PET CT and MRI- what you need to know

Medical imaging is a crucial tool in modern healthcare, allowing doctors to visualize the body's internal structures and diagnose a range of medical conditions. Two of the most commonly used imaging techniques are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) CT scans. In this article, we will explore what these tests are, when they are performed, and who performs them.

What is an MRI? MRI is an imaging technique that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body's internal structures. Unlike X-rays and CT scans, MRI does not use ionizing radiation, making it a safer option for imaging.

When is an MRI performed? An MRI may be performed to diagnose a range of medical conditions, including:

  • Brain and spinal cord injuries and disorders

  • Joint injuries and disorders

  • Abdominal and pelvic disorders

  • Tumors

  • Heart and blood vessel problems

  • Breast abnormalities

Who performs an MRI? An MRI is typically performed by a radiologic technologist, a healthcare professional trained in the use of imaging equipment. The technologist may also be assisted by a radiologist, a physician specialized in interpreting medical images.

What machinery is needed for an MRI? An MRI machine consists of a large, cylindrical magnet that creates a strong magnetic field around the patient. The patient lies on a table that slides into the magnet, and the MRI machine uses radio waves and a computer to create detailed images of the body's internal structures.

What is a PET CT scan? A PET CT scan is a medical imaging technique that combines two imaging technologies: positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT). PET uses a small amount of a radioactive substance called a tracer, which is injected into the patient's body. The tracer travels to the part of the body being studied and emits positrons, which are detected by the PET scanner. CT uses X-rays to create detailed images of the body's internal structures.

When is a PET CT scan performed? A PET CT scan may be performed to diagnose a range of medical conditions, including:

  • Cancer

  • Heart disease

  • Brain disorders

  • Lung disease

  • Bone disorders

Who performs a PET CT scan? A PET CT scan is typically performed by a nuclear medicine technologist, a healthcare professional trained in the use of radioactive substances for imaging. The technologist may also be assisted by a radiologist, a physician specialized in interpreting medical images.

What machinery is needed for a PET CT scan? A PET CT machine combines a PET scanner and a CT scanner into a single unit. The patient lies on a table that slides into the machine, and the PET scanner and CT scanner take images of the body simultaneously. MRI and PET CT scans are important medical imaging techniques that allow doctors to diagnose a range of medical conditions. These tests are typically performed by radiologic technologists and nuclear medicine technologists, who are trained in the use of imaging equipment and radioactive substances.

References:

  • "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 18 July 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mri/about/pac-20384768.

  • "Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 25 July 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pet-scan/about/pac-20385078.

  • "Radiologic and MRI Technologists." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1 Apr. 2021




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