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Which modality should you choose - MRI or CT?

When a patient requires cross-sectional imaging for evaluation of a particular body part, a veterinary team have a choice between Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The easy reference table below details the capabilities of each modality when considering specific anatomic regions. Please note this is a representation of the capabilities of each modality and is not an exhaustive list.

Download the Which Modality - Reference Guide       

If you would like to discuss a case before imaging, for advice on modality selection, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at clinicalservices@burgessdiagnostics.com

mri vs ct

Region
Central Nervous System (CNS)
MRI

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE: BRAIN

  • Intracranial Disease
  • Intracranial Vascular Disease
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Haemorrhage
  • Oedema
  • Epilepsy
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Metastasis
  • Cranial Nerve Disease
  • Degenerative Brain Disease
  • Foramen Magnum Herniation

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE: SPINE

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Meningitis
  • Diskospondylitis
  • Haemorrhage
  • FCE (Fibrocartilaginous Emboli)
  • Syringomyelia
  • Neoplasia
  • Arachnoid Cysts
  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Lumbar Sacral Disease
  • Trauma to the Spine
  • Atlanto-occipital Subluxation
CT

BRAIN

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Contrast Enhancing Lesions

SPINE

  • CT Myelography can be used to identify significant sites of spinal cord compression
  • Vertebral Body Trauma
  • Vertebral Body Neoplasia
Nasal cavities, sinuses, oral, optic
MRI
  • Neoplasia
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Aspergillosis
  • Palatine Destruction
  • Masticatory Myositis
  • Foreign Body
CT
  • Neoplasia
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Aspergillosis
  • Palatine Destruction
  • Foreign Body
  • Dental Imaging
  • CT Guided Biopsies
External, middle and inner ears
MRI
  • Tympanic Bulla Wall Erosion
  • Neoplasia
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Cranial Nerves VII VIII
  • Semi-circular Canals
CT
  • Tympanic Bulla Wall Erosion
  • Neoplasia
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Semi-circular Canals

Thorax
MRI
  • Mediastinal Mass
  • Thoracic Wall Mass
CT

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE

  • Neoplasia
  • Metastasis
  • Pneumothorax
  • Foreign Body
  • Abscess
  • CT Guided Biopsy
Abdomen & Pelvic Region
MRI
  • Neoplasia
  • Prostate
  • Hips
  • Ilio-psoas Injury
  • Adrenals
  • Cysts
CT

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE

  • Neoplasia
  • Bladder
  • Ectopic Ureters
  • IVU (Intravenous Urography)
  • Portosystemic Shunts
  • Renal Cysts
  • Abscess
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Liver Pathology
Extremity joints
MRI
  • Medial Shoulder Injury
  • Bone Enema
  • Osteochondritis
  • Arthrograms
  • Muscular Injuries
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Cruciate Ligaments
  • Meniscal Injury
  • Cartilage Pathology
  • Neoplasia
  • Foreign Body
CT
  • Multiple joints in one session
  • Angular Limb Deformity
  • Scans for 3D printing for fracture repair planning
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Neoplasia
  • Osseous Disease
  • Foreign Body
Patients with metallic implants
MRI
Although most implants are non-ferrous and safe for MRI, they must be discussed with Burgess Diagnostics.
Implants inserted within the area of interest may cause artefacts and provide non-diagnostic studies.
CT
Implants inserted within the area of interest may cause artefacts and provide non-diagnostic studies.
Region
Central Nervous System (CNS)
MRI

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE: BRAIN

  • Intracranial Disease
  • Intracranial Vascular Disease
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Haemorrhage
  • Oedema
  • Epilepsy
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Metastasis
  • Cranial Nerve Disease
  • Degenerative Brain Disease
  • Foramen Magnum Herniation

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE: SPINE

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Meningitis
  • Diskospondylitis
  • Haemorrhage
  • FCE (Fibrocartilaginous Emboli)
  • Syringomyelia
  • Neoplasia
  • Arachnoid Cysts
  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Lumbar Sacral Disease
  • Trauma to the Spine
  • Atlanto-occipital Subluxation
CT

BRAIN

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Contrast Enhancing Lesions

SPINE

  • CT Myelography can be used to identify significant sites of spinal cord compression
  • Vertebral Body Trauma
  • Vertebral Body Neoplasia
Nasal cavities, sinuses, oral, optic
MRI
  • Neoplasia
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Aspergillosis
  • Palatine Destruction
  • Masticatory Myositis
  • Foreign Body
CT
  • Neoplasia
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Aspergillosis
  • Palatine Destruction
  • Foreign Body
  • Dental Imaging
  • CT Guided Biopsies
External, middle and inner ears
MRI
  • Tympanic Bulla Wall Erosion
  • Neoplasia
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Cranial Nerves VII VIII
  • Semi-circular Canals
CT
  • Tympanic Bulla Wall Erosion
  • Neoplasia
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Semi-circular Canals

Thorax
MRI
  • Mediastinal Mass
  • Thoracic Wall Mass
CT

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE

  • Neoplasia
  • Metastasis
  • Pneumothorax
  • Foreign Body
  • Abscess
  • CT Guided Biopsy
Abdomen & Pelvic Region
MRI
  • Neoplasia
  • Prostate
  • Hips
  • Ilio-psoas Injury
  • Adrenals
  • Cysts
CT

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE

  • Neoplasia
  • Bladder
  • Ectopic Ureters
  • IVU (Intravenous Urography)
  • Portosystemic Shunts
  • Renal Cysts
  • Abscess
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Liver Pathology
Extremity joints
MRI
  • Medial Shoulder Injury
  • Bone Enema
  • Osteochondritis
  • Arthrograms
  • Muscular Injuries
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Cruciate Ligaments
  • Meniscal Injury
  • Cartilage Pathology
  • Neoplasia
  • Foreign Body
CT
  • Multiple joints in one session
  • Angular Limb Deformity
  • Scans for 3D printing for fracture repair planning
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Neoplasia
  • Osseous Disease
  • Foreign Body
Patients with metallic implants
MRI Although most implants are non-ferrous and safe for MRI, they must be discussed with Burgess Diagnostics.
Implants inserted within the area of interest may cause artefacts and provide non-diagnostic studies.
CT Implants inserted within the area of interest may cause artefacts and provide non-diagnostic studies.
Region
Central Nervous System (CNS)
MRI

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE: BRAIN

  • Intracranial Disease
  • Intracranial Vascular Disease
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Haemorrhage
  • Oedema
  • Epilepsy
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Metastasis
  • Cranial Nerve Disease
  • Degenerative Brain Disease
  • Foramen Magnum Herniation

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE: SPINE

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Meningitis
  • Diskospondylitis
  • Haemorrhage
  • FCE (Fibrocartilaginous Emboli)
  • Syringomyelia
  • Neoplasia
  • Arachnoid Cysts
  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Lumbar Sacral Disease
  • Trauma to the Spine
  • Atlanto-occipital Subluxation
CT

BRAIN

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Contrast Enhancing Lesions

SPINE

  • CT Myelography can be used to identify significant sites of spinal cord compression
  • Vertebral Body Trauma
  • Vertebral Body Neoplasia
Nasal cavities, sinuses, oral, optic
MRI
  • Neoplasia
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Aspergillosis
  • Palatine Destruction
  • Masticatory Myositis
  • Foreign Body
CT
  • Neoplasia
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Aspergillosis
  • Palatine Destruction
  • Foreign Body
  • Dental Imaging
  • CT Guided Biopsies
External, middle and inner ears
MRI
  • Tympanic Bulla Wall Erosion
  • Neoplasia
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Cranial Nerves VII VIII
  • Semi-circular Canals
CT
  • Tympanic Bulla Wall Erosion
  • Neoplasia
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Semi-circular Canals

Thorax
MRI
  • Mediastinal Mass
  • Thoracic Wall Mass
CT

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE

  • Neoplasia
  • Metastasis
  • Pneumothorax
  • Foreign Body
  • Abscess
  • CT Guided Biopsy
Abdomen & Pelvic Region
MRI
  • Neoplasia
  • Prostate
  • Hips
  • Ilio-psoas Injury
  • Adrenals
  • Cysts
CT

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE

  • Neoplasia
  • Bladder
  • Ectopic Ureters
  • IVU (Intravenous Urography)
  • Portosystemic Shunts
  • Renal Cysts
  • Abscess
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Liver Pathology
Extremity joints
MRI
  • Medial Shoulder Injury
  • Bone Enema
  • Osteochondritis
  • Arthrograms
  • Muscular Injuries
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Cruciate Ligaments
  • Meniscal Injury
  • Cartilage Pathology
  • Neoplasia
  • Foreign Body
CT
  • Multiple joints in one session
  • Angular Limb Deformity
  • Scans for 3D printing for fracture repair planning
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Neoplasia
  • Osseous Disease
  • Foreign Body
Patients with metallic implants
MRI Although most implants are non-ferrous and safe for MRI, they must be discussed with Burgess Diagnostics.
Implants inserted within the area of interest may cause artefacts and provide non-diagnostic studies.
CT Implants inserted within the area of interest may cause artefacts and provide non-diagnostic studies.
Region MRI CT
Central Nervous System (CNS)

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE: BRAIN

  • Intracranial Disease
  • Intracranial Vascular Disease
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Haemorrhage
  • Oedema
  • Epilepsy
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Metastasis
  • Cranial Nerve Disease
  • Degenerative Brain Disease
  • Foramen Magnum Herniation

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE: SPINE

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Meningitis
  • Diskospondylitis
  • Haemorrhage
  • FCE (Fibrocartilaginous Emboli)
  • Syringomyelia
  • Neoplasia
  • Arachnoid Cysts
  • Wobbler Syndrome
  • Lumbar Sacral Disease
  • Trauma to the Spine
  • Atlanto-occipital Subluxation

BRAIN

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Contrast Enhancing Lesions

SPINE

  • CT Myelography can be used to identify significant sites of spinal cord compression
  • Vertebral Body Trauma
  • Vertebral Body Neoplasia
Nasal cavities, sinuses, oral, optic
  • Neoplasia
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Aspergillosis
  • Palatine Destruction
  • Masticatory Myositis
  • Foreign Body
  • Neoplasia
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Aspergillosis
  • Palatine Destruction
  • Foreign Body
  • Dental Imaging
  • CT Guided Biopsies
External, middle and inner ears
  • Tympanic Bulla Wall Erosion
  • Neoplasia
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Cranial Nerves VII VIII
  • Semi-circular Canals
  • Tympanic Bulla Wall Erosion
  • Neoplasia
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Semi-circular Canals

Thorax
  • Mediastinal Mass
  • Thoracic Wall Mass

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE

  • Neoplasia
  • Metastasis
  • Pneumothorax
  • Foreign Body
  • Abscess
  • CT Guided Biopsy
Abdomen & Pelvic Region
  • Neoplasia
  • Prostate
  • Hips
  • Ilio-psoas Injury
  • Adrenals
  • Cysts

IMAGING MODALITY OF CHOICE

  • Neoplasia
  • Bladder
  • Ectopic Ureters
  • IVU (Intravenous Urography)
  • Portosystemic Shunts
  • Renal Cysts
  • Abscess
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Liver Pathology
Extremity joints
  • Medial Shoulder Injury
  • Bone Enema
  • Osteochondritis
  • Arthrograms
  • Muscular Injuries
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Cruciate Ligaments
  • Meniscal Injury
  • Cartilage Pathology
  • Neoplasia
  • Foreign Body
  • Multiple joints in one session
  • Angular Limb Deformity
  • Scans for 3D printing for fracture repair planning
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Neoplasia
  • Osseous Disease
  • Foreign Body
Patients with metallic implants Although most implants are non-ferrous and safe for MRI, they must be discussed with Burgess Diagnostics.
Implants inserted within the area of interest may cause artefacts and provide non-diagnostic studies.
Implants inserted within the area of interest may cause artefacts and provide non-diagnostic studies.

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