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Old 01-20-2004, 03:20 PM   #1
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Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

I had an mri done for ms and it came back normal. I am wondering if a spinal tap can show ms if the mri is normal. I have had extreme tiredness, dizziness, stumbling, leg aches, numbness in face, can't hardly walk when I get out of bed, etc for the past 2 months. In the past couple of days, I can walk when I get out of bed and I have been feeling better. My dr said since the mri came back normal that I didn't have ms. But I had something for 2 months because now most of it is gone and it has happened several times in the past years. Everybody I know thinks I am a nutcase and just imagining it all. Who knows!

 
Old 01-20-2004, 03:37 PM   #2
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Re: Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

MS can definately be around, yet not show up on an MRI. Did you have the MRI done of both your brain and spine? Because lesions can show up in either place. If you only had a brain MRI, it might be worth it to have one done of your spine as well. Sometimes MS only shows up in a spinal, so might be worth it, at least to ease your mind. Either way, you deserve some answers. Don't give up, you know if you aren't feeling right, so keep seeing doctors until someone listens to you. I can't stress this enough, because if it is MS or something else serious...you need to move on to the next step. In the case of MS, you'd want to start treatment ASAP to slow done the progression of the disease itself, and to slow time between flare ups.

I've read here and on other MS forums of many people who had symptoms for years, and the doctors would ignore it and tell them the MRI showed nothing, then later to find out they did indeed have MS. Also, keep in mind it isn't necessarely MS what you have, but something else. There are other health issues that have similar symptoms as MS, so your doctor should be testing you for those as well.

Take care, and I hope you get some answers soon. God bless!

 
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Old 01-20-2004, 04:09 PM   #3
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Re: Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

Here's some additional info that I've found on the 'net:

Virtually all patients with definite MS have visible lesions on MRI, either in the brain or spinal cord. An occasional patient will have typical symptoms, relapses and disability with spinal fluid and other findings suggestive of MS but negative MRI. The absence of MRI lesions is certainly a red flag to look carefully for another explanation but some patients do have MS and normal scans.

 
Old 01-20-2004, 04:25 PM   #4
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Re: Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

Thanks you for the advice. I know I was legitimately sick those 2 months but everybody thinks it was just stress. I have had these same symptons for the past 6 years on and off but this was the worst. Thanks for the support.

 
Old 01-22-2004, 11:24 AM   #5
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Re: Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

Did you have a spinal tap to check if there is an infection or MS?

Have you had any blood tests done for other autoimmune possibilities?

If not, appears you need a lab work-up done.

 
Old 01-22-2004, 10:49 PM   #6
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Re: Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

My neuro told me he looks at the whole picture.....complete MRI series (brain, c-spine, t-spine), LP, EVP (evoked potential), blood tests, and physical exam with patient input. All of these things are more pieces to the puzzle, and can help with a diagnosis of MS or something else.

My lesions are only in my spine, so if he had only ordered an MRI of my brain, then I wouldn't have a diagnosis of MS right now.

As was mentioned above a couple of times, MS symptoms can mimic other diseases and illnesses, so I hope you have tests to rule out various things.

Please don't think this is all in your head.....it sounds like you have had symptoms of "something" on and off for a couple of years. I hope you can find the answers!!!!

 
Old 01-23-2004, 02:18 PM   #7
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Re: Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

Would you suggest an MRI of the spine or a spinal tap? My first doctor told me since it didn't show up on the brain MRI that I didn't have it. The past couple of days I have been extremely fatigued and nauseated. But I have also felt better than I have the past few months. I am going to a neurologist in Feb and if he doesn't think anything is wrong, I will go to another one. The first doctor gave me medication for stress but I haven't taken it because I don't think I need it. That is the third doctor in the past 5 years that I have been to for this that has given me medication for stress and dismissed me.

I had blood work done for anemia, thyroid, and I am not for sure what else. But they said it came back ok. I don't think they look too hard for anything else if it doesn't show up as one of these things.

 
Old 01-23-2004, 02:37 PM   #8
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Re: Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

Hi...your doctor should of known better to say you don't have MS from only a negative brain MRI! Anyone who knows anything about MS should know that lesions can also show up on the spine. I shake my head at these doctors who try and play God, yet don't want to get to the bottom of things for people. I suggest you tell the next neuro that you only had a brain MRI, not of the spine. Maybe he/she will want to do another MRI, and possibly a spinal. I wish you luck, please let us know if you find anything out. Take care and God bless!

 
Old 01-23-2004, 02:48 PM   #9
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Re: Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

Thanks for the advice. I live in a small town and there are a lot of people here that have MS, so everybody says that that is what the doctor jumps to first. I don't think so because you have to have the symptons for them to think it is it. Do you think it is better to tell people you are being checked for it or if you find out that you have it, tell people about it. Or do you think it would be better to keep it to yourself. I am torn between the two. I have only told a couple of people I am being checked for it because I don't want to look like an idiot if I don't have it. And if I get a diagnose of it, I can't decide if I should tell anyone or not. I am just worried if I tell people all I will hear about is how bad I look or just about MS all the time. And since it is a small town, the gossip just soars and soon you are in worse shape than you really are.

 
Old 01-23-2004, 07:44 PM   #10
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Re: Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

I have chosen right now to tell only 3 people. No one else knows what is going on with me. You cannot tell by looking at me that I have as much trouble as I do, so I am not going to fuel gossip by telling anyone. Also, if you don't have trouble at your job, then I think it is best to not say anything.

I know there are others who will say that they told everyone, or told a select group of people. You have to decide what is best for you....only you know that.

I guess part of it is that I am having a hard enough time trying to come to terms with MS myself, and I just don't think I will be good at trying to explain it to people right now. I also don't want people to pity me.

 
Old 01-23-2004, 08:42 PM   #11
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Re: Can spinal tap show MS if Mri doesn't?

I agree, I don't want the pity either. I did tell a select few with I got diagnosed (mainly family and close friends), and they all know not to pity me or say something they shouldn't. They do, however, know if I'm not able to join in functions because of fatigue or whatever, they don't ask me twice. I think it is up to the individual and what is best for you.

 
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