When would a CT scan be performed instead of an MRI? – Portsmouth Regional Hospital

For something that needs
to be looked at quickly, CT is always the answer. So an acute stroke in the
ER, we would go right to CT. It gives us an opportunity
to make our decisions quickly and move forward. The difference
between 30 seconds of imaging and 30 minutes of
imaging makes a big difference. Anything that
involves dense tissue, like a bone for example,
well seen by CT. Anything that involves joints or
neurons, better off seen by MR. So we would use MR,
for example, to look at a knee or a shoulder, whereas
we would use CT, or maybe even plain x-ray, to look
at a bone shaft.

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