Difference between MRI and PET Scan

Jul 26, 2011 by

What is the Difference between MRI and PET Scan?

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  1. shiela

    Technology has made our life easier especially in the field of health and medicine. There are machines being invented which helped medical experts discover what people feel and what diagnosis is appropriate. Just like MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging and PET or Positron Emission Tomography.

    MRI and PET are both imaging machines whose functions may vary. MRI was invented in the 1970s in the U.K. MRI uses a magnetic field which can detect damaged tissue in the body. An image is provided by the machine so there is no need to open the body and look for that damaged tissue. However, there is a limitation because it can’t be used to the person with tattoos and permanent marks in the body since the machine could not detect and give off an image anymore. The scan may last for 20-50 minutes depending on the condition of the organs. The more problems our organs have, the more images are produced which may take the scanning a longer time to finish.

    On the other hand, PET scan gives off more reliable information because it produces 3D images. This machine was conceptualized in the 1950s in Pennsylvania. What happens during the PET scan is that a liquid is inserted through our veins. This tracer liquid may flow all throughout our body. The tracer particle is a radioactive material which means it is charged. There is a camera installed that may keep track of this charged tracer liquid. PET is used more in detecting problems in the nervous system and other inner cells and tissues which MRI can’t take an image off. This is the reason why it is used to detect the blood flow and the activity of the tissues.

    These imaging machines can detect fatal conditions of the body without penetrating the internal parts of our body. Since scientific discoveries had greatly improved man’s lives, the process of healing and medical analysis had also improved with the help of these non-invasive machines.

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