Sick otter gets MRI exam
Posted by Teko on Tue 24 Sep 2002 - 16:51
A female sea otter experiencing frequent seizures was given the first-ever otter MRI exam today. Doctors fear that they'll have to euthanize her if they can't discover the cause of her seizures, and the MRI seems to have been inconclusive. Be sure to read the caption under the accompanying photo.
Is this anything like a CAT scan?
MRIs can take images from any angle, and use magnetic and radio waves.
CT (computerised tomography) scans, aka cat scans, use several coordinating beams of Xrays, but can only show a horizontal image.
So MRIs and CTs are similar, but different. I believe that MRIs are faster, more detailed, and safer. However, I admit that I am not an expert.
No no no, they're scanning an OTTER, not a CAT....
*runs like heck*
... Well, no one else had said it yet. It was up ta me! =D
I've had a CAT scan and my mom's had several MRI's over the years, I'll give you what little information I have.
Yes, CAT's are horizontal scans, but it's still rather comprehensive, just not quite as detailed. In a nutshell, if they're looking at a general problem, you'll probably be getting a CAT scan first to see where the problem is in a certain area.
MRI's narrow it down and are more area-specific, because the image is rendered in 3-D. Once said image is rendered, the program that the specialists use allows them to take a look at the image from all sides, by rotating it in all directions, 360 degrees.
And in answer to the speculation: Yes, they're faster (Where CAT scans can take about 3 hours, tops, MRI's take an hour, give or take); yes, they're more detailed (as I mentioned above); but as for safer... that's still debatable.
My mom noticed something the second or third time she went in or an MRI, a 'panic button' of sorts for the claustrophobic patients that can't handle it. CAT scans, on the other paw, don't have them (or didn't, last time I had one, which was about 5 years ago). Basically, if you start feeling claustrophobic, you hit that, they pause the rendering on the screen and let you out until you can handle it again for a while (These are the rare exceptions to the 'MRI's take about an hour' rule that I mentioned).
Wuff... hope that helped.
*groans* Mana, that was bad... *tosses a tomato at Mana*
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