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Difference between MRI and X-Ray

Both MRI and X-Ray are noninvasive imaging test to diagnose internal injuries or illnesses. People usually need to have an X-ray or MRI done after an injury or illness. These imaging techniques help correctly diagnose the injury or illness. Both are used to take images of the internal structures of the body. Each has its own advantages and specific uses. Let us see how they differ from each other!

MRI:

MRI is a noninvasive, imaging diagnostic test which enables doctors to see the internal structure of the human body without performing any surgery. It is also known as nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI) or magnetic resonance tomography (MRT). It was developed by Dr. Raymond Damadian, a physician and scientist. The patent for this machine was filed in 1972; however, it is believed that first MRI was performed on a mouse in 1974. MRI uses strong a magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to provide the internal view of the human body. It is helpful in diagnosing neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, carcinogenic medical conditions.

X-ray:

It is also a noninvasive, imaging diagnostic test which uses radiations to produce an image of the body?s internal structure. It is widely used to diagnose fractures, dislocations, tumors, bone degeneration etc. In this imaging test, the injured body part is exposed to a small dose of ionizing radiation. These radiations are absorbed by the tissues or bones of the body on the basis of their density and composition. The rays which are absorbed by the body part appear white on the film accordingly the image of the injured body part (broken bone) is created on the X-ray film.

Thus, X-ray test allows the doctors to see past the skin tissues and determine the different types of bone fractures, dislocations and other injuries. X-ray machines are also used in airport terminals, railway stations, etc to scan, bags, boxes etc. Frequent exposure to X-rays may be harmful to living organisms.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between MRI and X-Ray are as follows:

X-Ray MRI
It is suitable for diagnosing broken bones, dislocated joints, bone degeneration etc. It is suitable for diagnosing soft body tissues like brain tumors, spinal cord injury, ligament or tendon injury etc.
It uses X-rays to produce detailed pictures of body's internal structures. The body part is exposed to a small dose of ionizing radiation. It uses a powerful magnetic field and radio frequency pulses and computer to produce pictures of organs, soft issues etc.
Rays are absorbed by bones based on their density and composition. The images of body parts which absorb radiations are produced on the X-ray film. The water in our body tissues and protons in the water helps MRI capture the images of body organs and tissues.
It cannot change the imaging plane without moving the patient. It can produce images in any plane without moving the patient.
It takes less time, around few seconds. It takes more time than X-ray around 30 minutes.
Long or frequent exposure can cause mutations or other defects in the body. It does not harm the body.
It is cheaper than MRI. It is expensive than X-ray.
It occupies less space. It occupies more space.
It emits radiations. It does not emit radiations.
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