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    Old 08-01-2010, 04:13 PM   #1
    rachellea
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    MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    Hello everyone, this is only my second time posting but I am always reading what you all have to say and all seem very helpful. I have a few questions regarding MRI's and diagnosis. I have not yet been diagnosed but have been sent by neuro for brain and cervical spine mri, both without contrast. The cervical spine I had to go and pick up the written report myself from the radiologist because my dr. still has not called me with the results yet. I have been waiting 3 days + the weekend, and have called numerous amouts of time and still nothing!! Anyway, I was hoping someone could help me interpret. Discs C2,3,4,5,&6 mild disc desiccation. Conclusion : Multilevel mild degenerative disc changes with shallow left foraminal disc protrusion at the c5-6 level, mild straightening of the cervical lordosis. No evidence for abnormal spinal cord signal or demyelinating plaques in this nonenhanced study.

    The brain mri states... multi round foci of increased signal intensity are noted within the right frontal subcortical white matter on FLAIR images. This represents a nonspecific finding. no infratentorial signal abnormality is identified. Differential diagnosis includes demyelinating, infectious/inflammatory and ischemic processes.

    Can anyone tell me there opinion please. I know every case is different, but doc is not helping me much and he is the 3rd one ive been to already. Thank you all so much.

    Last edited by rachellea; 08-01-2010 at 04:38 PM.

     
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    Old 08-01-2010, 06:37 PM   #2
    MSJayhawk
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    Welcome. While getting the report is good, you really need to keep it sealed and let your doctor tell you and show you each item. My neuro always points out things on my images.

    From what is written, it sounds like some disc problems and some conditions in the brain image. An MRI may show lesions, but lesions can be the result of infections, etc.

    Not just limited to MS. Are you being seen by a neurologist who specializes in MS? If so, then they will probably need to send you for another MRI with and without contrast to see the "full picture". I am surprised they did not if there was the possibility of a neurological problem.

    They could not see anything on your spine in the way of lesions or nerve damage, but the report indicated "non-enhanced". I think that I would ask for an MRI With/Without contrast and I would ask if the doctor is using the revised McDonald Criteria for diagnosing your concerns.

    Sometimes reading a report like this leaves us in more of a sticky wicket when we just do not know. Put the report back in the envelope and indulge in a bit of self-pampering!! Remember, if you do have MS a diagnosis tomorrow or in two weeks does not change who you are.
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    Old 08-01-2010, 07:14 PM   #3
    rachellea
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    jayhawk, thank you so much for the fast reply and the advice. Just a couple of other questions. The first neuro I went to , just by looking at my brain mri (without contrast), and after doing a very thorough neurological exam, seemed quite concerned that it was MS. He was going to do further testing but I was then notified that they could not take me on as a patient do to a mistake they made. They did not accept my insurance. Then I tried neurologist #2 who was a total jerk and tried sending me out of the office with sleeping pills for a trial he was doing, and accused me of being anorexic. So, now i'm on neuro #3, who seemed ok I do not believe he "specializes" in MS though. I do not know how to go about finding a Neuro who does in my area. I tried looking it up on the computer but got nowhere. Why would the doc. have not ordered either one of my mri's with contrast? What is the point if it seems to be that they will need to end up doing another mri now with contrast?

    What if he does not mention another mri with contrast? Should I ask for it? I dont even understand how I could possibly have any disc problems. I'm only 31 years old, never been in any accidents, Have always been a stay at home mom, never even suffered from any back or neck pain. One more question, I promise. If the mri's do get redone with contrast does that mean it could end up showing lesions that did not show on the mri without contrast? thank you again for taking the time.

     
    Old 08-01-2010, 07:24 PM   #4
    MSJayhawk
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    The first neurologist was very likely well experienced. Based upon what you wrote, perhaps a new neurologist can best assist you. Check with your local chapter of the MS Society or the MS Association for help in finding the neurologist you need.

    Disc problems can be a degenerative condition that you inherit or?? You do not have to be in any accident or falls to have back problems. When the doctor has two set of images, one with contrast and one without, any active lesions can "light up" with contrast. Is an MRI with contrast absolutely necessary? No, BUT you should be able to have 100% of the information possible instead of only 98% (or so).

    As long as your neurologist follows the revised McDonald Criteria, you should be fine. Your choice of neurologist can make a huge difference. You might contact the first neurologist and ask him for a referral or see whether they will now take your insurance.
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    Old 08-01-2010, 07:33 PM   #5
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    You have been a great help, thank you so much for taking the time out to read my post and reply. good luck to you, and be in good health.

     
    Old 08-01-2010, 07:45 PM   #6
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    No worries, please come back and ask whatever questions you have. Please do enjoy some self-pampering to ease your mind. If MS is possible, avoiding worry, stress, and anxiety are important to your health. Do let us know what you find. If it is MS, you are among fellow MSers and need not feel that you are alone. If it is something else, there are many boards on this site which can really help you too I believe. You will be in my prayers.
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    Old 08-02-2010, 05:58 AM   #7
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    Hey, just wondering if you have heard or know if hair loss/thinning of hair is related to MS? Started over a year ago, probably around age 29 I was beginning to notice I was losing my hair. It got so bad, so thin I almost had no hair left. Doctors never really gave much of an answer. Now that I'm currently going through this possible MS diagnosis, I was wondering if this could be my answer to the hair loss. Thank you again.

     
    Old 08-02-2010, 06:30 AM   #8
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rachellea View Post
    Hey, just wondering if you have heard or know if hair loss/thinning of hair is related to MS?
    No, hair loss/thining is not a symptoms of MS.

    Hair loss can be caused by medications, stress, thyroid problems - for examples.

     
    Old 08-02-2010, 06:45 AM   #9
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    Ok, thank you for the help. I'm guessing maybe it was a stress thing. Thanks again.

     
    Old 08-02-2010, 07:05 AM   #10
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    Further to what Snoopy said:

    If you have hair loss--round bald patches on the scalp-- it can mean Alopecia Areata.
    If you have Hair loss--loss of facial and scalp hair --it can be symptoms of Alopecia Totalis, Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism, Graves' Disease/Hyperthyroidism, or Lupus.

    The best thing to do is ask your doctor. They can check your thyroid, etc. I had a bald spot about 1 inch in diameter of facial hair a year ago (maybe 2). I ask my neurologist. She said that if it enlarged in size, then I should get it checked. It has since disappeared and I am back to normal (well normal for me ).
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    Old 08-02-2010, 07:16 AM   #11
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    It is just hair loss in general (head). My family doctor at the time thought for sure I had a thyroid isssue but that came back negative. Oh well, I guess for now I'll deal with one problem at a time. Thanks guys! Your all great!!

     
    Old 08-02-2010, 04:09 PM   #12
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    Question Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    Im sorry to bother you again, but I finaly heard back from my neuro regarding cevical spine mri. Not only did it take 5 days (with the report sitting on his desk), to call me back but when they did call he isnt even the one who called me!! The secretery did!! Is that normal? Then all she said was that the doctor said it came out clear with some arthitic issues. She was about to hang up the phone when I then asked " well, where do I go from here?" She then asked me "do you want to make an appt to see him again?" He never even looked at the films/cd's yet. I made an appointment but not really sure what I should do. I did what you said and contacted the ms society to ask for help finding a specialist, they also gave me ms care centers. Do they do diagnosis or do they only treat people who have already been diagnosed? Oh and guess what!! the neuro that I first went to who seemed really great but did not except my ins... He was on the list of specialists I got. I'm so mad I cant see him anymore!!

     
    Old 08-02-2010, 06:51 PM   #13
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    I would "pack your bags" and head for a new neurologist. Work off the list you got and you should be in capable hands. Take copies of everything to date and hand carry them to the new neurologist. I would not waste my time with your 3rd one.
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    Old 08-02-2010, 07:37 PM   #14
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    OK, I definately agree with you! First thing in the morning I am going to call an ms care center that is only about 25 minutes away from me. I just hope they accept my insurance. That seems to usualy be a problem for me! I will keep you posted! Thanks so much for all of your help!!

     
    Old 08-03-2010, 09:16 AM   #15
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    Re: MRI question, not yet diagnosed, many questions.

    Hello, just a quick update. I just got an appointment at an ms center for the 19th of this month! Feeling very relieved right now that after 3 neurologists I may finaly get some answers with try #4!! Thanks for everything and god bless!

     
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