When are MRIs not practical?

You mentioned that, MRIs are almost always preferable to CTs for imaging the head, and usually for the spine, except during trauma or when MRIs are not practical – such as when there are metal clips on the head. Why is the MRI not practical when there are metal clips in the head? Kindly explain.

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

The MRI is a very strong magnet — you would not want it to move around metal clips in the head, or anywhere else in the body!

Read More From This Series:
CT Scan Defined
CT Scan, Ultrasound or MRI?
CT Scan Safety
CT Scans and Radiation Exposure
CT Scan Risks
Higher Risks in Children
Who Should Receive a CT Scan?
X-Ray or a CT Scan?
Alternatives to a CT Scan
When Should a CT Scan be Performed?
Important Tip to Reduce to Radiation
Questions to Ask before Every CT Scan
Other Radiation Exposures
Measures That Radiologists Should Adhere to When Administering a CT Scan
CT Scans and Cancer
When are MRIs not Practical?
What is Ionizing Radiation? Who are Radiologists?

February 14, 2008

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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