dcsimg

Radiology Technology

What's The Difference Between an X-Ray, CT Scan, and an MRI?

X-Ray Technology in a Nutshell

The most common imaging technique used today is a radiograph (x-ray film) and the most common x-ray ordered is a chest x-ray, and the musculoskeletal x-ray exam comes in second. An x-ray provides a two dimensional image of the interior of the body and the procedure is performed by a Radiologic Technologist. A single x-ray passes through the body and exposes the film on a radiograph (or fluorescent screen) placed on the opposite side. Tissues having different densities show up as differing densities on the radiograph i.e. x-rays which have there nature of being absorbed to various degrees through body tissues depending on the density of them.

The Four Main Radiographic Densities

There are four fundamental radiographic densities. This is how they may appear on the fluorescent screen: Air and gases appear black or radiolucent. Fat appears gray to black. Muscles and water appear grey. Bones and calcium appear white, or radiopaque. A tissue that is more dense absorbs more x-rays than tissues that are less dense. Radiopaque is a very dense tissue and a less dense tissue is said to be radiolucent. Bone is very dense and fat is moderately dense while other tissues are least dense. It is important to differentiate between two types of densities that are physical density and radiographic densities. The radiographic density of a substance is related to it's physical density

Find Radiology Schools

CT Scan Technology (Computed Tomography)

In CT Scanning, x-rays moves in an arch around the part of the body being observed through a laser-like beam. The beams of x-rays passed through the region of the body imaged are collected by a special detector which converts the x-rays into electronic pulses that produce readings of the density of the tissue into a 1cm slice of the body. From these readings a computer can assemble a picture of the body called a CT Scan that can be viewed on a fluorescent screen, then photographed for later examinations. CT scan stands for computerized tomography. It obtains parts of the body that can't be seen on a standard x-ray with the help of computer algorithms in conjunction with the enhanced x-ray technology.

MRI Technology - Magnetic Resonance Imaging (X-Ray Vision without actual X-Ray's)

MRI uses the magnetic properties of the hydrogen nucleus, which is excited by radio frequency radiation transmitted by a coil surrounded by the body part. When placed in strong magnetic fields, the nuclei of certain atoms absorb radio frequencies beamed at them and then emit their own radio frequency waves. This process allows MRI Tech's and physicians to see very clear pictures of the inside of the body including tissues, organs, and blood vessels. MRI is a noninvasive technique that does not use ionizing radiation. MRI has become one of the primary tools used to image the brain, spinal cord, major blood vessels, and several key organs. The images can be produced in 3-D, which significantly enhances the physician's ability to diagnose problems. MRI Technicians are also used to help view the process of surgery in real time in 3-D, which assists with a whole host of surgical procedures.

Differences Between CT Scans and X-Ray's

CT Scans are an advanced form of x-ray technology used in detecting diseases in soft body tissues and can actually provide images of internal organs that are impossible to detect with standard x-ray techniques. X-Ray's are good at finding bone fractures and for being used as a contrasting agent for several types of exams; however, the CT provides greater detail and clarity. CT scan has additional advantages of being able to produce imaging in virtually any orientation. It is a more technologically developed version of an x-ray, which is used on specific parts of the body. It also provides better images for bone structures, inner ear as it can easily detect tumors in the auditory canal and cochlea. CT Scans help diagnose bone fractures, bone tumors, internal injuries and bleeding and blood clots and to monitor heart diseases and cancer.

Differences Between CT Scans & MRI's

MRI uses magnetic waves to produce images while CT images are produced using x-rays. MRI provides more details of bony structures compared to CT Scan. CT Scans can't help much in seeing clearly very fine soft tissue details as in the shoulder or knee compared to MRI. MRI scans are best for imaging soft tissue. CT scans are much more costly and takes a longer time (30 minutes) to be completed compared to a MRI which can take less time to complete. People with surgical clips, metallic fragments, cardiac monitors and pace makers cannot have an MRI scan. Also pregnant women should not have CT scans. MRI machines can produce in any plane without moving the patient. They also have the ability to change the contrast of the images making them more clear than CT scan.

Additional Resources:

Radiology Programs:

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
 
Results:  7
Matching School Ads
X-Ray Technician/Back Office Medical Assistant

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

Bachelor of Radiation Science Technology
  • Ranked 23rd among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A public research university with an enrollment of more than 42,000 students.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 16:1, and 43.1% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has been the source of many discoveries creating positive change for society including co-op education and the oral polio vaccine since its founding in 1819.
  • Provides distance learning advisors to assist students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Degree - Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Platt College , Riverside
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Specialization in Nursing Informatics (MSN)
  • Earn your Bachelor of Science of Healthcare Management degree online
  • South University brings over 115 years of achievement and tradition to a supportive, online classroom
  • Program focuses on the business, management, and healthcare skills necessary for healthcare organizations to run smoothly
  • Courses include Principles of Management, Healthcare Delivery and Organization, and Healthcare Finance
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Master of Science in Health Informatics
  • Recognized as the largest university in the Chicago area, with 27,580 students and 15 colleges.
  • Listed as one of the top 200 research-funded institutions in the world, with more than $291 million research funds in FY 2013.
  • Proud to be a tobacco-free campus, prohibiting all forms of tobacco within campus boundaries.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Health Information Management (BS)
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
  • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
  • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
  • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid