Emerald Coast Pain Services


Understanding Your CAT Scans

Cat Scans are not utilized as much as they once were for spinal conditions. MRI's provide better visualization of the neural elements and thus are preferred. CAT scans are generally utilized if an MRI isn't available or if there is metal that precludes someone from getting an MRI. Often patients who have had prior fusions get CAT scans with myelography since the metal distorts both the CAT and MRI pictures but the myleography makes the CAT superior to the MRI in such a case. As you look at these normal CAT scan pictures compare them to the normal MRI's and you'll notice the increased degree of visualization of the bone with CT scans and better visualization of soft tissue with MRI's. Below is a normal cervical, thoracic and lumbar CAT scan of the spine in that order. On another web page are abnormal CAT scans.


Cervical CAT Scan


thoracic CAT scan\


normal lumbar CAT scan