Brain MRI vs Brain CT - 1257545

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Brain MRI vs Brain CT - 1257545

Hello Everyone,

I was wondering how the CT compares to the MRI for the detection of Brain metastases. Is the CT adequate in detection possible lesions versus the MRI and if the radiation is significant for having a CT on the brain?

Thank you

Reply To: Brain MRI vs Brain CT

Hi shinbo, The doctors here have often said that either works fine for looking at mets to brain though the prefered use is MRI. I can't point to reasons why so I'll ask our radiology specialist to answer that directly.

All the best,

Dr West
Reply To: Brain MRI vs Brain CT

Without actual numbers to point to, I'd say that a CT of the brain is very good, but an MRI is still more sensitive than that. We prefer the best study, which is an MRI, but if there's a reason an MRI can't be done, whether it's the machine not being available, some metal implant or shrapnel precluding MRI being done safely, or a patient finding an MRI to be too claustrophobia-inducing (not rare, as an MRI is a harrowing experience for many), I consider a brain CT very acceptable.

I can't give an exact answer on the amount of radiation, but I'd say that if it's a single scan, it's completely trivial, and if someone is being followed for brain metastases, a minimal amount of radiation from repeated brain CT scans is not a realistic threat compared with the underlying disease. I strongly suspect that the drive to the scan or to the grocery store that day poses a greater risk.

-Dr. West

Dr. Howard (Jack) West
Associate Clinical Professor
Medical Oncology
City of Hope Cancer Center
Duarte, CA

Founder & President
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