CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Indian J Radiol Imaging 2024; 34(03): 488-495
DOI: 10.1055/s-0044-1778726
Systematic Review

Comparative Diagnostic Accuracy of Computed Tomography Scan versus Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Emergency Department for the Evaluation of Dizziness: A Systematic Review

Ishfaq Nabeel Ashiq
1   Department of Emergency Medicine, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
2   Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Chemical Sciences, Government College University, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Adil Yousaf
3   Green Health Pharmaceutical Company, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
› Author Affiliations
Funding None.


Introduction Both computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) play significant roles in assessing patients with dizziness. However, understanding the comparative capabilities of these imaging methods in detecting pathological causes is crucial for determining the most suitable modality. This review aims to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and clinical utility of MRI and CT scans in managing patients with acute dizziness in the emergency department.

Methods Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, we conducted a comprehensive search in various databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, Cochrane library, British Medical Journals, and ScienceDirect) from 2010 to 2023. We used the QUADAS-2 tool to assess bias risk, considering MRI as the reference standard and CT scan as the index test.

Results The final analysis included six studies, with 3,993 patients (48% male, 52% female; average age: 56.7 years). Three studies were of high quality, two of medium quality, and one of low quality. Central ischemia was the predominant diagnosis for dizziness. MRI demonstrated higher diagnostic efficacy for stroke compared with CT scans, while mixed results were observed for other multiple diseases when both MRI and CT scans were used.

Conclusion MRI outperforms CT scans in diagnosing dizziness-related strokes. However, for other causes of dizziness, there is no significant difference between these techniques. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge the limitations associated with MRI. Consequently, to address these concerns, the selection of an imaging technique should be tailored to the individual based on factors such as their clinical presentation, comorbidities, and socioeconomic circumstances.

Publication History

Article published online:
27 January 2024

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