MRI or abdominal ultrasound: differences, which is better?


Ultrasound is one of the methods, which for decades introduced in diagnostic practice. Many patients were repeatedly examined by ultrasound to know about the simplicity and safety of the method, and imaging is familiar to only a few. So, why there are situations when the doctor prescribes Mr-diagnostics of the abdominal cavity, if such a proven and available method, such as ultrasound?

Is there a fundamental difference evidence for the purpose of a particular method of examination?

A prerequisite to the appointment of any diagnostic examination of the abdominal cavity is the goal pursued by the doctor. If on the basis of the patient’s symptoms, the data of the initial examination, palpation and percussion, the doctor may make a preliminary diagnosis, it is only necessary to refute or confirm its hardware survey. But when the symptoms cannot be attributed to one disease or the clinical picture is erased, the specialist accesses the most accurate methods of research, such as MRI.

MRI is a more accurate method of diagnosis. It allows you to consider on any slice, any slice, any projection, while an ultrasound shows better bleeding that cannot be seen on magnetic resonance imaging.

As for the pathological process, ultrasound detects disease in the later stages, when the lesion reaches the impressive sizes. Magnetic resonance imaging visualizes the beginning of diseases of the abdominal cavity, which allows you to go to therapy. If the patient goes to the doctor in the later stages of the disease, as a rule, the appointment of Mr diagnostics is not required because doctor a clear clinical picture and should just confirm it with ultrasound.

However, the most frequent case — when the doctor prescribes ultrasound imaging, followed by MRI. This is done in order to determine the ultrasound estimated the affected area, and then aiming to consider her for an MRI, not being distracted by other areas unrelated to the disease.

What qualities are lacking each method to be used without restrictions?

On the ultrasound unit will only check the anatomical features and changes in the structure of the internal organs, but damaged as the disease of the organ (functional impairment) it is not detected. Ultrasound is inferior to magnetic resonance imaging in the visualisation. An ultrasound is an image of organs in two planes (unless it is 3D camera, often used for study of the fetus), while MRI creates a three-dimensional image that allows us to consider every body from all sides.

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Magnetic resonance imaging also has a major drawback: the impossibility of its use in some categories of patients. Contraindications to its conduct is established, the patient artificial pacemaker, insulin pump, surgical clips on the blood vessels of the brain or heart, claustrophobia, children up to age 7 years. If necessary, examination of the foetus in the first three months of development, it is also better to go for ultrasound.

Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging methods, which significantly differ in price. Ultrasound of the abdomen will cost an average of about 1500 rubles, while the MRI to 8,000 rubles.

What is safer: magnetic resonance imaging, or ultrasound?

The safety of these two methods are not fundamentally different: one and the other relatively safe. An example is the fact that both are pregnant women. While these studies are not recommended in early pregnancy, due to the fact that the long-term effects of exposure to ultrasound and magnetic fields on the fetus are poorly understood. MRI is not performed during pregnancy in the first trimester, since this method is relatively new and doctors are of the opinion that it is better to beware and to protect the fetus.

But for adults, MRI and abdominal ultrasound do not pose any danger. Because it does not belong to the category of methods using ionizing radiation, such as computed tomography or radiography.

Any type of diagnosis has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to remember that assigning you a specific examination of the abdominal cavity, whether it is MRI or ultrasound, the doctor pursues certain objectives. It is not necessary to take the initiative, self-appointing their own MRI, or to refuse its carrying out, when requested by the doctor.