Bone scans and MRI’s are both important imaging tools that are used in similar ways, yet share numerous differences. These imaging modalities can be used to detect certain bone diseases. While bone scans are traditionally recommended by doctors, new studies have shown the benefits of utilizing MRI technology for various bone issues.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of each scan.
MRI Bone Scan
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology utilizes magnetic fields and radio frequency to create internal images of the body and its organs. MRI’s are often preferred because they can create 3-D images of a specific area, allowing radiologists to better analyze the area of concern. MRI’s have been used over bone scans to detect bone cancers because of its ability to create a detailed image of a targeted area.
Research has shown that MRI’s are able to detect bone cancer better than traditional bone scans can. MRI can show the physical abscess and abnormal appearance of bones infected by harmful diseases, specifically osteomyelitis.
Bone scans, or bone scintigraphy, created images of bones by using radioactive tracers. These tracers are able to detect osteoblasts which are often found in damaged bones that are attempting to heal themselves.
Bone scans are able to locate where osteoblasts are forming and determine the location of bone tumors. In relation to MRI scans, bone scans tend to be cheaper. While they are more affordable, they tend to be less reliable and MRI’s are able to detect cancer cells before they affect the bone. Osteoblasts can be found in bone infections, or osteomyelitis, and show a specific result for this bone disease.
As for which is best, your doctor can recommend which scan is best for you and your needs. MRI’s and bone scans can be used to help detect bone infections, diseases, and cancers. Here at Clovis MRI, we use MRI technology to diagnose various illnesses in different regions of the body.