Difference between X-Ray and MRI
X-Ray vs MRI:
The medical professionals are entrusted with the complex task of taking care of the health and well being of the human beings and this is not such an easy task to accomplish. However, various methods have been invented to render this difficult task easier and X-Ray and MRI are two such methods of arriving at a proper diagnosis of a patient’s condition without going in to the trouble of performing an operation on the body. Even though both these methods render much ease and flexibility in to the life of both medical professionals and the patients alike, they each carry certain differences which set these two methods apart.
What is X-Ray?
X-Ray which is also known as Rontgen radiation, is a type of electromagnetic radiation of which the waves have a wavelength of 0.01 to 10 nanometers, frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz, and energies which correspond to the range 120 eV to 120 keV. X-Rays are capable of penetrating thickness of matter, thereby allowing to observe the condition of bones and also certain content in the stomach. Medical X-rays are produced by letting a stream of fast electrons come to a sudden stop at a metal plate, thereby producing images. The images produced by X-rays occur due to the varying absorption rates of different tissues. For example, calcium in bones absorbs X-rays the most which makes the bones appear white on the film which records the X-ray image, a film that is referred to as a radiograph. Fat and other soft tissues absorb X-Rays less than bones, thereby making them appear grey in color. Air absorbs the least amount of X-Rays, thereby, making the lungs look black on a radiograph.
What is MRI?
MRI which stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, utilizes magnetic fields to penetrate through soft tissues of the body, thereby producing an image of the separation of different soft tissues in the body. This is done by a rather large magnetic source which aligns the magnetic moments of protons that are found in the water in our bodies where an electromagnetic field via RF is introduced. Because of this process, the molecules realign themselves and eventually come to their original positions, during which these movements are detected by the scanner and plotted in a computer. Improving this image is done by injecting contrast material in to the patient.
What is the difference between MRI and X-Ray?
The main difference between MRI and X-Ray must definitely be the kind of images that they produce. An X-Ray is only able to produce a shadow of an image that is only capable of demonstrating the contrast between soft tissue and bone density. MRI however, is very well capable of demonstrating the difference between different kinds of soft issue in the body which is much more detailed than an X-Ray. This is why X-Ray is utilized in order to detect broken bones whereas MRI scans are often used to obtain detailed images of the human brain in detecting brain tumors, ligament and tendon injury, spinal cord injury and such abnormalities which can be quite hard to detect.
X-Ray was the first of the two to be introduced in to the world during the 1940’s, during which time, it was considered to be quite a breakthrough in the medical field. MRI however, came in to the scene much later and remains still as quite a new phenomena. X-Ray still remains popular because of its easy accessibility and its much cheaper price whereas a MRI can cost so much more, standing far above the costing scale when it comes to the scanning methods available in the world today. However, while MRI has not reported any biological hazards to health, X-Rays are known to produces ions or negative atoms that produce abnormal chemical reactions in the body, thus creating birth defects or diseases. They can also alter DNA.
However, claustrophobic people find it rather hard to remain in the enclosed space where the MRI is conducted for a prolonged period of time which extends to up to 30 minutes. An X-Ray does not pose such issues as obtaining an X-Ray would only take a matter of a few seconds. Also, there is a 500 Pound weight limit on MRI scans which prevent obese people from using it and also, people with peacemakers or metallic objects in their bodies cannot be observed with MRI because of the powerful magnetic rays used. Obtaining an X-Ray is not known to be so constricting.
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