Medical imaging scans help doctors visualize the inside of your body by capturing clear images of your bones organs vessels soft tissues and joints. The scan images are read by radiologists and used to diagnose diseases injuries and abnormalities. After examining a medical scan radiologists write detailed reports about what they saw and whether it was normal or abnormal. How long it takes to get MRI (or CT) results varies but many radiologists can turn reports around within 24 to 48 hours of your scan.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a medical imaging test used to detect and diagnose a variety of medical conditions. Radio waves bounce off of a powerful magnet to create digital images of the inside of your body.1 An MRI does not expose you to radiation and generally creates clearer images of organs and tissues than a CT scan. MRIs are particularly useful in imaging the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) the inside of bones and joint tissues.
CT (computerized tomography) scanning is a medical imaging test that uses ionizing radiation to create multi-slice X-ray images of the inside of your body. It’s more detailed than a single X-ray and is especially useful for assessing trauma injuries and guiding surgeries.2
Please be advised: scan.com does not diagnose, treat, or offer medical advice on any medical conditions. Only licensed medical professionals, such as radiologists and other physicians, are qualified to read your medical imaging scans and dictate the results. This blog was written for informational purposes only.
Have you ever been so nervous or distraught when someone was talking to you that you completely missed what they said? Conversations with your doctor can go that way sometimes, too. Maybe it was information overload, maybe your ears were ringing in shock, maybe you were momentarily distracted. Whatever the reason, it’s common to finish talking to your doctor and realize you didn’t retain much of what you heard.
This can also be the case when you get medical imaging results you’ve been waiting for. Even though they’re on paper (or a screen) right in front of you, the written results of your scan can be heavy on medical jargon and difficult to interpret.
Your radiology report will be broken down into general sections, which include:3
The impression section is the one you want to focus on most; it will have the result-related information you’re looking for.
Here are some examples of commonly used terms and phrases in these reports, and a breakdown of what they mean in plainer terms:
The takeaway point here is to look at the impression section of the radiology report and skip the rest. It will have all the important information you need, including diagnoses and recommendations for next steps or tests. If the medical language is confusing or unclear to you, be sure to ask your doctor to review it with you. You can always ask them to slow down, explain certain terms more simply, or repeat what they’ve said.
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