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Should I Choose MRI or CT

Below is a comparision in preference between MRI and CT for Small Animal.   Or download and view it in PDF format.

Body RegionMRI PreferredCT Preferred
Abdomen
  • Identification of small organ masses - adrenal, pancreatic, lymph nodes.
  • Clarification and surgical planning of large organ masses - hepatic, splenic, renal, intestinal.
  • Upper urinary tract evaluation - ectopic ureter, renal/ureteral calculus.
  • Clarification and surgical planning of large organ masses - hepatic, splenic, renal, intestinal.
  • Clarification of known or suspected portosystemic shunt.
Cardiovascular
  • Pericardial effusion, suspected pericardial masses.
  • Suspected large vessel thrombus ( aorta, vena cava, or portal vein ).
  • Pulmonary embolism.
Central Nervous System - Brain
  • Suspected brain disorders - Seizures, cranial nerve signs, vestibular disease, ataxia, head tilt, behavioral changes, central blindness, pituitary disease, metastatic disease, congenital anomalies, head trauma with neurologic signs.
  • Skull trauma with suspected fracture.
  • Acute intracranial trauma in critical, unstable patient.
Central Nervous System - Spine
  • Spinal cord - acute or progressive tetraparesis or hindlimb paresis, CP deficits, spinal pain, spinal trauma, congenital anomalies, discospondylitis, recurrence of post-operative disk disease.
  • Vertebral fractures.
Joints, Musculoskeletal
  • Pain/lameness localized to any appendicular joint (ligaments, tendons, menisci, cartilage, bone, effusions).
  • Evaluation of bone neoplasia pre-surgery.
  • Evaluation of elbow dysplasia.
  • Suspected incomplete ossification of the humeral condyles (spaniel breeds).
  • Complex fractures, including pelvis.
Nasal Cavity
  • Chronic nasal discharge, chronic sneezing, nasal cavity distortion, suspected nasal mass.
  • Chronic nasal discharge, chronic sneezing, nasal cavity distortion, suspected nasal mass.
Orbits
  • Exophthalmos, pain on opening mouth, suspected retrobulbar masses, optic nerve disease.
  • Orbital trauma with fracture.
Other Head and Neck
  • Soft tissue masses or swelling of unknown origin, lymphadenopathy, salivary gland, laryngeal, suspected mandibular or maxillary masses, thyroid masses.
  • Chronic ear disease, head tilt.
  • Dental-based mass.
  • Other head/skull trauma with suspected fractures.
Peripheral Nervous System
  • Suspected peripheral nerve neoplasia - progressive single limb muscle atrophy or pain.
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Thorax 
  • Metastasis screening.
  • Primary lung mass(es).
  • Pneumothorax.
  • Lung consolidation, chronic pneumonia.
  • Pleural effusion.
  • Mediastinal disease.
Non-Body RegionMRI PreferredCT Preferred
Cancer
  • Soft tissue masses evaluation, especially for surgical planning.
  • Body metastatic screening.
  • Body lymph node and marrow evaluation.
  • Lung metastasis screening.
Miscellaneous
  • Suspected foreign bodies.
  • Chronic draining tracts.
 

 
 

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