Types of Scans Your Doctor Might Order

Types of Scans Your Doctor Might Order

There are a number of times that you may need to have some type of radiographic scan in order for your doctor to diagnose or monitor a number of health conditions. There are many types of scans now available with leaps in medical technology, including traditional X-Rays, MRI, CT scan and PET scan. When visiting an imaging center in New Jersey, it is important to know the difference in the types of scans to better understand what you will be experiencing.

Traditional X-Rays

Traditional X-Rays can be used in multiple situations, including providing your doctor with images of broken bones or skeletal abnormalities. The process for obtaining these images varies greatly depending on what area of the body is being imaged.


An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is traditionally used to detect abnormalities in the soft tissues of the body. Unlike traditional X-Rays, an MRI scan shows organs and tissues, whereas traditional radiography shows hard tissue such as bones.

CT Scan

A computed tomography scan is similar to an MRI, but differs in some ways. A CT scan can help a doctor diagnose soft tissue disorders, disorders of the blood and also broken or fractured bones.

PET Scan

PET scan is the abbreviated form of positron emission tomography, which uses a special dye to allow the doctor to see how the organs are functioning and to detect any abnormalities in the organ systems, sometimes before the symptoms are noticeable on other types of scans.

You may feel anxiety when your doctor orders any type of body scan, but remember that these scans are used not only to diagnose conditions but to monitor the overall functioning of organs and tissues. Talk to your doctor today about what tests may be needed for you and how that particular scan will benefit you.

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