Advertisement

Jump to content


Photo

CT or MRI scan which is best for abdominal pain investigations


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Rich767

Rich767

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 26 February 2009 - 04:36 PM

Advertisement
HiAs part of the investigation into my abdomnal pain I have been refered for a CT scan but can't understand why its not an MRI scan insteadI thought MRI was much safer than CT as there is no radiation and I also thought the images of soft tissue were much better so why the CT scan IM confussed?Is it all down to money or something?Has anyone experienced any of the scansThanksRich


Advertisement

#2 Kathleen M.

Kathleen M.

    Community Manager

  • Community Managers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 34,812 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 26 February 2009 - 05:55 PM

http://www.ct-scan-i...rivsctscan.html has some info.It really depends on what they are looking for.I know the virtual colonoscopy is always a CT scan, but the MRI is better for looking at other things like tendons, but there aren't a lot of those that would be causing abdominal pain.
My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
Ph.D in Biology

#3 AIRPLANE

AIRPLANE

    Prolific Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 358 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 28 February 2009 - 05:53 PM

Rich,I do suspect that MRIs are not offered as much as CT scans due to their cost. I think the insurance companies frown on them because of this.After numerous CTs and ultrasounds, I began requesting an MRI as well for the safety aspect and just for a 'possible' different viewpoint. Doctors would become very hostile and tell me how uncomfortable MRIs could be, without letting me decide for myself if I wanted one anyway.I finally was able to get an abdominal and pelvic MRI from a sympathetic chiropractor. While it did not show anything pertaining to my issues, it did find an adrenal tumor that had not been picked up as well or characterized as well on a CT scan. The CT scan showed it as an 'incidental adenoma' whereas the MRI showed it to be what was called a 'pheochromocytoma' and I did have it removed. The MRI also showed an additional liver nodule that the CT missed. These supposedly are of no significance although I would still like to know why I have them.Despite what I'd been told about MRIs being uncomfortable, I didn't find it bad at all! I have heard of a new MRI called an fMRI- a 'functional' MRI which supposedly can pick up things like adhesions which I have been told I likely have but since I can't prove it I can't obtain any further diagnostic or treatment measures for them. I am not sure what other things it might show regarding functional GI issues, but you'd think it could be useful. As far as I know it is not in use in the U.S. or if it is it isn't widely available. I think, so far, anything I have read about it is from Europe.But if, when it becomes available, the fMRI costs as much as the MRI, I suspect that getting a physician to order one will be difficult due to pressure from the insurance companies, even when its use may be clearly indicated.

#4 rjc

rjc

    Prolific Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 302 posts

Posted 01 March 2009 - 04:23 PM

Cat scans w/ contrast are not very good at picking up inflammation in the colon...for that a scope is best.

#5 Rich767

Rich767

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 02 March 2009 - 06:40 AM

I know that colonoscopy is better for picking up inflammation and I am scheduled to have this done as wellThe reason for the CT/MRI is to check organs in that area such as Pancreas, Liver, Spleen and Kidneys which might be causing the pain too.All I wanted to know was will the MRI show the same things if its checking these organs as I would rather have MRI than CT as CT uses Xrays.So will an MRI do the job just as well as a CT and if it will why has the NHS Consultant not mentioned it as an option?I don't want to expose myself to radiation if another test can do it withoutRich

#6 Kathleen M.

Kathleen M.

    Community Manager

  • Community Managers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 34,812 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 02 March 2009 - 06:44 AM

For some of the organs and some of the problems (from the links I posted even if they didn't give all the exact problems) a CT scan sometimes picks something up better than an MRI. Depends on the tissue and the issue they are looking for.If they are more worried about the things a CT scan sees better in the abdomen they may want to do it. An MRI is better in dense tissues like tendons around a joint but it does not see the exact same things. You might ask if it can see the same things they think they might see with the CT scan. It may not just be cost.
My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
Ph.D in Biology

#7 Rich767

Rich767

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:20 AM

Thanks for that KathleenThe strange thing was when I asked about the CT I had already been reffered for a Colonoscopy and Endoscopy.He first said he would have to cancel these as I could either have the CT or Colonoscopy but not both, so it does sound money related to me.He has siad that he thinks its IBS, but what I dont understand is why if it IBS am I getting pain in my mid back, looking at this forum can't seem to find anyone with mid back painI just feel like the specialist is not interested and thinks Im a HYPO as Im asking for all these tests, but I want things checked out first . Im not prepared to take his diagnosis without tests to rule other things out.Richard

#8 Kathleen M.

Kathleen M.

    Community Manager

  • Community Managers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 34,812 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:51 AM

Depending on how they prep you, they can do a virtual colonoscopy with a CT scanner. No test is completely harmless so they often don't want to test just to see how many things they can do to you if you are just duplicating the effort. Sometimes with IBSer they find the more tests you run the more you stress someone out and just doing dozens of test for no good reason just makes the IBS symptoms a lot worse for no benefit.Mid back pain is a bit odd, but sometimes IBS pain does get referred to the back and depending on what part of the colon is hurting that could include that. It is odd enough that taking a look-see isn't a bad idea if they've ruled out back problems as a cause of the back pain.
My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
Ph.D in Biology

#9 Rich767

Rich767

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 03 March 2009 - 06:49 AM

Doesn't the Transverse colon run under ribs at either side which is about mid way up?I think a doctor told me it sometimes runs inline with the bottom of the stomach so I guess pains that high and in the back could be caused by the bowel?Looking at a diagram most of the colon is above the belly button, so why would pain this high in the mid torso or back area be odd?

#10 Kathleen M.

Kathleen M.

    Community Manager

  • Community Managers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 34,812 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 03 March 2009 - 06:58 AM

Usually upper abdomen pain seems to radiate more to the upper back than the mid back. Like with gall bladder disease.For some reason mid back is rarely complained about here. Most IBSers complain about lower back pain. CTs or MRI tests are not typical tests done for IBSers so I'm wondering if that might be an odd enough location they want to check out other things. Usually if you have very typical presentation of pain there isn't much reason to order expensive tests when they know they won't show anything.Even with my extremely severe pain they were very sure it was IBS so didn't make my insurance company spend a lot of money running lots of tests. Although it does seem some people do get a lot more tests than others even when they sound typical. I don't know if some doctors are just test-happy or some people are better at talking doctors into doing a lot of "just in case" tests they really don't need.
My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
Ph.D in Biology

#11 Rich767

Rich767

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 03 March 2009 - 07:40 AM

HiNo my specialist at the hospital did not request me to have a CT just a colonoscopy and endoscopy.Its was me that insisted that they run a CT scan to check my Pancreas and other organs in that area that could be causing pain.I was going to go private to get it done, due to the waiting time, but my partner just rung the Radioligists direct at the hospital and manged to get me a scan for Saturday 14th, thats less than 2 weeks which is pretty good for the NHS in EnglandAs a person seems to be labeled with IBS after everything has been excluded.I want to make sure that most things have been excludedRich

#12 Kathleen M.

Kathleen M.

    Community Manager

  • Community Managers
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 34,812 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 03 March 2009 - 09:40 AM

Oh well in that case it is hard to guess if the doctor thinks you have something atypical going on since you decided to have the test on your own.Usually gall bladder or pancreatitis problems cause extreme pain so they often don't worry about excluding them unless you really present with that much pain. IBS can cause extreme pain in some people but the pattern tends to be different than you see with the other things (timing, location, etc.).
My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
Ph.D in Biology

#13 Rich767

Rich767

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 49 posts

Posted 17 March 2009 - 05:12 PM

Had my CT scan at the weekend with contrast, everything came back clear, really glad i had it done

#14 caligirl1282

caligirl1282

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 21 posts

Posted 30 March 2009 - 06:56 PM

Hi all, Im just really nervous about my symptoms. Have not had a colonscopy but had a CT Urogram with contrast. They did this thinking I had kidney stones but they were ruled out. My question is the report included some info on the colon but can they see the colon in a CT Urogram with contrast?

#15 sara52

sara52

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 01 April 2010 - 10:13 AM

Hey Rich,I too have that pain on the left side (back area)My gastro doctor insists that there is nothing there and its caused by the muscles.I've had my gallbladder 10 weeks ago, and do have IBS (lucky me)I find it hard to believe that a muscle can hurt so bad when one is trying to have a bowel movement, then again even when your not.I had the "keyhole" version of the gallbladder removal, note to those out there if you can , find a doctor who isn't so quick to want to remove it, life is hell after and second, make sure he goes above the navel, not through it. I am still fighting an infection and its 10 weeks now.I think IBS is a label they slap on you when they just don't know what is wrong and thats not right.

#16 SunNsnow

SunNsnow

    Prolific Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 240 posts

Posted 01 April 2010 - 10:32 AM

Rich,The following tests show everything,making any CT scan or flouroscopypointless:MR-EnterographyCapsule endoscopyColonoscopySigmoidoscopyCT scans for these issues are pointless sincethere are other tests and since CT scansare toxic to the body.Small bowel follow through may be acceptablebut MR-enterography shows the same thing.





Advertisement


About Us | Contact Us | Advertise With Us | Disclaimer | Terms of Service | Crisis Resources

Irritable Bowel Syndrome |  Inflammatory Bowel Disease |  Crohn's Disease |  Ulcerative Colitis |  Fibromyalgia |  GERD - Reflux Disease


©Copyright 1995-2014 IBS Self Help and Support Group All rights reserved




This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here