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Choosing MRI Centers with Dr. Kevin Cregan, Radiologist

Dr. Kevin Cregan is a board-certified radiologist with a degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

What is the difference between a CT and MRI?

—Frank G., Fremont

A CT, or CAT, scan is a sophisticated type of X-ray that allows radiologists to obtain thin cross-sectional images of the body. CT scans are widely used to image the brain, the soft tissues of the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and the spine. The power of CT is that it can rapidly acquire very detailed anatomic images to diagnose a vast number of illnesses.

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, also provides detailed cross-sectional images of many of the same areas of the body as CT. MRI is not as fast as CT, but is superior to CT in evaluating joints such as the wrist, elbow, shoulder, hips, knees, and ankles.

It also provides more detailed images of the brain, spinal cord, and the vertebral discs (diagnoses herniated discs). Vascular studies, or blood vessel imaging, are also frequently performed with MRI. Breast MRI is extremely useful in high-risk patients, and is used to clarify abnormalities found on mammograms and/or ultrasounds.

What should I look for when choosing an MRI facility?

—Jennifer E., Goldsboro

1. State-of-the art equipment, which will produce the best possible images and not miss important diagnoses. The best images are produced on the latest, fastest, high-resolution MR systems, such as the two Siemens MR units at Wayne MRI. This type of technology is often not in place on mobile MR units.

2. On-site radiologists to tailor the MR studies to each patient’s medical condition.

3. A comfortable spacious facility with at least one open MRI is very important for claustrophobic and larger patients. Wayne MRI can meet the imaging needs of all patients with our open Siemens Espree and our short-bore Avanto. Medication to relax the anxious patient can also be provided by on-site radiologists.

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