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Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Arthritis and Rheumatism
What Can a CT Scan Provide More Than a Regular X-ray?
I have RA and my doctor had me get a CT Scan of my lower back. The waiting time for MRI`s is just too long. What can a CT Scan tell him more then a regular X-ray?
In regards to spine imaging, a computed tomography (CT) scan produces excellent images of the vertebrae (back bones). The vertebrae are evaluated cross-sectionally in thin slices. Imagine looking at a loaf of bread face on where each image is the another slice of bread. This cross-sectional imaging also allows one to evaluate the caliber of the spinal canal where the spinal cord lays. These imaging techniques are just not possible on regular x-rays which are typically limited to front-to-back and side-to-side views. Neither CT scans nor regular X-rays produce adequate images of the intervertebral discs, spinal cord, or nerve roots. This is where MRI is superior.
Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University