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    Old 11-24-2015, 09:56 PM   #1
    firedircontrol's Avatar
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    Abnormal MRI of lower back and high wbc

    HI i recently went to my doctors for right leg pain shooting down to my foot. They ordered a MRI of my lower back and found I had a herniation of L5S1 disk. The Impression was as follows

    Abnormal signal diffusely involving the bone marrow of the visualized vertebral bodies and pelvic bones. Differential considerations include anemia. Cannot exclude a marrow infiltrative process such as lymphoma or leukemia.
    Correlation needed.

    The next day they called me and told me to come in for a blood draw.
    got the results the next day of a high white blood count and that I needed to come in for another blood draw for a differential.

    The results
    Neutrophils Absolute 1.8 - 7.7 10*3/uL 13.4
    was the one high.

    I then got called in to see my doctor on what they were telling me was bone changes. I came in and he seemed confused. and had to consult with another MD and he ended up referring me to

    Leukocytosis - Has persisted with neutrophil predominance, ?related to Lithium use, but given recent MRI findings will refer to Heme/Onc.
    - Ambulatory referral to Hematology / Oncology
    Abnormal MRI, lumbar spine - Marrow abnormality seen; will refer to Heme/Onc as above.
    - Ambulatory referral to Hematology / Oncology

    Now I am pretty stressed out. I am 28 years old, Retired from the us army at 27. just bought our first home and my wife is a RN.

    Can anybody tell me what they mean about the mri results

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    Old 11-25-2015, 06:23 AM   #2
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    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Abnormal MRI of lower back and high wbc

    Welcome to the board. I can imagine that you are stressed by this report and series of follow-up appointments. As you probably know, this board's function is for members to share information and experiences. Members are not medical professionals so keep that in mind as you read!

    When a MRI is given for a specific problem with the spine, it is not uncommon for some other abnormalities to be found, which is what happened in your case. In your case, a herniated disc located between the L5 and S1 vertebrae was found. You don't include any further information about it, but it must be pushing out of the disc space to the point that the spinal nerve is being irritated or compressed, which is radiating down the leg, causing symptoms of sciatica.

    What apparently was also picked up were some abnormal signal from the bone tissue, which resulted in a suggestion by the radiologist writing the report to seek further testing and investigation. The radiologist could tell from looking at the bone marrow in the imaging that it was not completely ordinary, and he suggested that this change MIGHT be caused by something like anemia or something more serious like a blood abnormality caused by something like a leukemia or lymphoma. The report suggests that you consult with a specialist in hematology or oncology to get an accurate assessment of what may or may not be going on.

    While it is very normal to panic when hearing something like this, it is important to remain calm and get the information you need to be able to carry on. Keep in mind that neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that the body uses to fight infections. High neutrophil levels are often caused by an infection, but other medical conditions and certain drugs can cause them as well. Physical or mental stress, and even smoking, can also increase neutrophil levels. While high neutrophil levels do not usually indicate a serious problem, you need to have further testing or consultation with a blood specialist to find out what is going on.

    As to the herniated disc, conservative treatments such as a course of physical therapy, oral medications, perhaps a series of epidural steroid injections, etc. will be tried initially to get the disc to move off the nerve. In the meantime, avoid bending or twisting at the waist. Often a herniated disc will heal on its own and surgical intervention is not required.

    Good luck and please let us know how you are doing.

    Last edited by teteri66; 11-25-2015 at 06:26 AM.

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