CT scans, PET scans, And MRIs are three of the most widely used diagnostic tests at Hollywood Diagnostics Center. But how do they differ and when should one or the other be used?
We have different examinations because each examination has the ability to see our bodies in a different way.
So, What Are the Differences?
- CT Scan (Computed Axial Tomography) is perhaps the most well-known examination and through the use of X-rays allows us to observe differences in density and shape of organs.
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) provides an idea of how water molecules are distributed in our bodies.
- PET Scan (Positron Emission Tomography) uses specific substances, called radiopharmaceuticals, to observe particular structures or organs and is able to recognize certain metabolic processes.
Therefore, a CT scan gives us an idea of the shape. An MRI not only gives us an idea of the shape but also adds a functional component. A PET scan gives us an idea of the function.
More on PET Scans
PET scans do not exist as a single method because different things can be observed depending on the radiopharmaceutical used. For example, the brain is the organ in our body that consumes the most sugar, and if there are areas that function less we can observe a lowering of sugar consumption.
So how is this noticed? It is done by injecting a substance that is taken up by the cells as if it were sugar and that has a bulb attached to it that emits positrons. But we can also see how the blood flow in the brain is, for example by injecting water that has been made radioactive or observing amyloid deposits, which may be increased in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Whereas with CT scans we only have a density image and with MRIs, we see soft tissue better because it is rich in water. With PET scans we have more possibilities depending on the radiopharmaceutical used: sugar consumption, amyloid deposits, bone remodeling, or the expression of particular receptors in certain tumors.
PET is therefore an examination that is defined as functional because it allows us to see certain peculiar characteristics of tissues.
So, if you live in South Florida, or specifically the city of Hollywood, and are in need of a CT Scan, PET Scan, MRI, or any medical imaging, then call the Hollywood Diagnostics Center today! Medical professionals are ready to assist you with all of the tests and procedures that you need to get your health in order. All of the staff is friendly and ready to answer any questions you have regarding any medical imaging technologies and procedures. Call the Hollywood Diagnostic Center at Phone: (954) 966-3600 today!