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CT scan and MRI scan interpretation of foreign body and calcium - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
User :   Is it possible to tell the difference between calcium and a foreign body on a CT scan? on an MRI? My MRI says susceptibility the CT says punctate hyperdense focus (could represent focus of calcium or a foreign body)...what does this mean?
Doctor :   Hi
User :   is this a question you can answer or do I need to refer it to a radiologist?
Doctor :   Both calcium and foreign body appears hyperdense on the CT scan.
User :   can they tell the difference? what does punctate mean in that context? Would calcium be a susceptibility artifact on an MRI?
Doctor :   Foreign bodies can have a structure resembling to a particle that may have been accidentally got exposed during the scanning
User :   I have 1 MRI and 2 Ct scans showing this object
Doctor :   Calcium and artefacts can be different.
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   May I know which part of the body was scanned?
Doctor :   Hi
User :   pelvic
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   May I know the exact location where the hyperdense or the hyperintense lesion is noticed?
User :   the radiologists talked to me but where very short with me. Indicated poss a surgical clip, fragment of surgical tool and they always throw calcium. It is right in line with my c-section scar
User :   it shows as susceptibility on the MRI. Does calcium do that?
Doctor :   Both calcium and a foreign body such as a clip would appear as hyperintense lesion on the MRI>
Doctor :   However, the shape of the foreign body will be seen as it is without any alterations.
User :   so even getting a second opinion of the scans would be useless if there is no way to tell the difference?
User :   So the image of the MRI (although enlarged since susceptibility artifacts show larger then true size) is the exact shape (just not size of the object)?
Doctor :   Hence it is possible to differentiate if it is a foreign body or the calcium.
Doctor :   Artefacts in the scan are mainly due to the movement of the body during the scans.
Doctor :   If there was movement of the body during the process of the scan, then it may be difficult to see the shape or exact size of the body,
Doctor :   this can make it difficult to pinpoint exactly whether it was a deposition or a foreign body.
User :   So I wouldn't be crazy to indicate to the radiologist that I do not believe the report is complete because they SHOULD be able to narrow down if it is calcium or metal? This was just noted as is very obvious and appears to be in or near a vessel. I know it was not accidental or caused by movement since it appears on 2 CT scans as well
Doctor :   You probably have misunderstood what I was saying.
Doctor :   A foreign body can be differentiated easily on the scans, however, if there was strong movement of the body while during the scans,
Doctor :   the structure that is scanned, which includes the hyperdense particles would move.
User :   it looks exactly like a clip in the MRI...I have seen pictures of other clips and it looks exactly like them. I do not believe they are being straight with me. I did not move AT ALL during the scan
Doctor :   This appears like an artefact.
User :   any suggestions how to get a second opinion? what do you mean by appears like an artefact?
Doctor :   Artefact in simple terms means a defective structure which may have been caused due to movements or a defective instruments.
User :   So it happened with EACH of the 3 scans?
Doctor :   A foreign ody can be differentiated from a calicum.
Doctor :   You can take the whole scanned pictures to a radiologist for a second opinion.
User :   Because of the density?
Doctor :   It would be difficult to give an opinion based on the reports.
Doctor :   You would have to produce the whole films to suggest an opinion.
Doctor :   Do you follow what I have suggested?
User :   I would gladly take them somewhere to be looked at but I have been avoided like crazy by all doctors and radiologists. I have the CD's I will take them to someone
User :   I think you say it should be clarified and it is possible
Doctor :   Yes, it should be possible to be differentiated by an expert radiologist.
Doctor :   Do you have any further query?
Doctor :   Are you there?
Doctor :   I have to close the window as you are not responding. Please chat with our doctors 24/7 for medical queries.
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