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Old 07-15-2012, 08:22 AM   #1
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Gadolinium in an MRI

Hello -- does anyone know if in order to see the intensities for an MS diagnosis must they use Gadolinium (contrast)? The reason I ask is because when I went for an MRI, the technicians doing the test could not get it into my veins - they kept missing an shot it into my hands and arms. Then they said it would not make a difference anyway. I don't think that is right. Then I got a copy of the MRI results and the paragraph says "No abnormal Gadolinium enhancement". I don't see how there could be when they didn't use the Gadolinium in the first place.

Last edited by brownowl; 07-15-2012 at 08:24 AM. Reason: spelling correction

 
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:40 AM   #2
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Re: Gadolinium in an MRI

It is used to "light up" active lesions as opposed to scar tissue/old lesions. The active lesions would not be possible to observe without the dye. It is not required as an absolute for MS, but it does give better detail and a "fuller picture". There are some for whom dye is not permitted due to their pre-existing renal problems. The fact that you did not have the dye is not a major obstacle preventing a diagnosis.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:53 PM   #3
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Re: Gadolinium in an MRI

My understanding of its use is as MSJayhawk said..to show active lesions. The sentence you are concerned with I would be also as it was not used so that sentence to me would not be the truth. Did you bring this to the attention of your PCP?

 
Old 07-15-2012, 02:19 PM   #4
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Re: Gadolinium in an MRI

I just received this copy in the mail Friday so I will call them again on tomorrow. The thing that worries me is that when they did the MRI - the place gave me a copy of the scan on a CD in case the doctor wanted to look further at it. Then when I talked with them -- they said -- we don't read them. So, I asked: "Do you just take whatever the radiologists says?" - they said "Yes". Then when I started asking questions about the with or without contrast. The assistant said I would have to call the center that did the MRI and speak to the doctor there that read it. So, I called the center and the person there said "we don't talk to the patient". I am so stuck. I am not sure where to turn - I'm suffering major double vision, the balance is way off that I have falled a couple of times, and the leg muscles are really stiff and the legs just don't want to move. The double vision is a new thing and very hard to get used to. The legs always get this way when it is hot outside and these past weeks it has been 90-100 degrees every day. I'm not sure what to do.

 
Old 07-15-2012, 03:01 PM   #5
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Re: Gadolinium in an MRI

A radiologist might read an image, but most MS Specialists will read it without the radiologist's report. The MS Specialist knows what to look for and a radiologist is only reporting on a broad overview. While the quality and expertise of the radiologist varies, they cannot replace the expertise of an MS Specialist. I would not worry; therefore, if there is no report because that might have been the doctor's order. Perhaps they did not want any possible bias to skew their perception.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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Re: Gadolinium in an MRI

The radiologist did produce a 1 paragraph report, but the lines within it contradicts itself and the facility will not answer my questions. The neurologist I am seeing doesn't review the scan and only depends on the report. Therefore, I am lost.

 
Old 07-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: Gadolinium in an MRI

I should add,

Stay out of the heat and keep your body cool. Incorporate stretching throughout the day and liberally before resting. Also, the tightness can develop due to dehydration. Stay well hydrated.

For your double vision, you might try an alternating eye patch so that you can avoid the double vision. I have used an eye patch in the past and it eliminated my double vision.

Falls are always difficult and they can leave us embarrassed and/or humiliated and our confidence and esteem can also be tarnished. There is no shame in grabbing a cane and using it. They have many beautiful canes nowadays that you can really accessorize. Me? I stick with a plain black cane . I also have a service dog. Do not be afraid to use adaptive equipment whether a power chair, a cane, etc. Use them to empower yourself and to regain your freedom and independence. When you do not need them, set them aside, but be ready to use them if needed.

The MRI center would be in the wrong to discuss your imaging over the telephone. Please sit back and try to relax and allow your doctor to read the images. An MRI alone will not give you a diagnosis. You have a little further to go before a confirmation can be made. Limbo land can be difficult and frustrating, but we are here for you.
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MS diagnosed since October 3, 1982
MS onset circa 1977
Proud to be MED FREE!
Eternally blessed and eternally optimistic!<><

 
Old 07-15-2012, 03:19 PM   #8
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Re: Gadolinium in an MRI

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownowl View Post
The radiologist did produce a 1 paragraph report, but the lines within it contradicts itself and the facility will not answer my questions. The neurologist I am seeing doesn't review the scan and only depends on the report. Therefore, I am lost.
I would, therefore, assume that your neurologist is not an MS specialist. I think you would be better off with another neurologist whose specialty is MS. Perhaps your neuro can refer you to an MS Specialist?
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Eternally blessed and eternally optimistic!<><

 
Old 07-15-2012, 04:12 PM   #9
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Re: Gadolinium in an MRI

thanks for the advice. you are so right about the embarrassment of falling. everyone looks at you like they should help you try to get up when all you want them to do is go so that you can cry because the fall hurts so much.

 
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