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  • Is contrast important in full spine MRI?

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    Old 07-26-2006, 07:53 AM   #1
    Sunshine008
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    Is contrast important in full spine MRI?

    I'm having a full spine MRI tonight at 5pm. Lot's of symtoms. Mostly muscle weakness, buzzing, twitches and spasms. Some pain in groin, thighs and calfs. No reflex on rt knee. EMG Results : Mild chronic Myopathy. The neuro said no contrast was needed, but I thought contrast is always a good idea to pick up on small issues with the nerves and non-bone issues. I asked her about it, and she stuck to her guns - no contrast.

    This has been going on 1 1/2 years and I'm getting worse/weaker. I'm scared that this MRI will be normal and I'll always wonder if there was something missed due to not using contrast. fyi - my brain mri/mra with contrast was normal a couple weeks ago. If MRi is normal, I have to get a muscle biopsy. Believe it or not, I'm hoping for it to be a spine issue. That's better than a progressive muscle disease - very scary.

    For those of you who are seasoned spinies: is it typical for the neuro to do the full spine MRI without contrast when looking for Rediculopathy/pinched nerves, etc? Is contrast really needed? What if it is something other than pinched nerves, like an arteriovenous malformation? Will the mri pick it up? I need to make a call to the doc this morning and push again for contrast if you all feel I should. If most of you did not have contrast and that's normal protocol, I'll just let the doc do her job.

    Thanks for the input.

    Last edited by Sunshine008; 07-26-2006 at 08:09 AM.

     
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    Old 07-26-2006, 01:10 PM   #2
    Sunshine008
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    Re: Is contrast important in full spine MRI?

    [removed]I spoke to the radiology MRI technician today. He said that unless they are specifically looking for MS or a tumor, contrast is not needed. Furthermore, he said that if they see anything that is suspicious during the mri, they can call my doc and get approval to do the contrast. So, he said either way, the scan will be completely thorough.

    I feel better. I'll trust the doc on this one.

    Last edited by HBMod07; 07-26-2006 at 03:36 PM. Reason: unnesessary statement.

     
    Old 07-26-2006, 08:06 PM   #3
    SpineAZ
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    Re: Is contrast important in full spine MRI?

    They were able to see the disc herniations and bone spurring via MRI without contrast. So yes, as you found out, contrast is not needed when looking soley for disc protrusions, nerve impingement, etc.
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    Old 07-27-2006, 07:12 AM   #4
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    Re: Is contrast important in full spine MRI?

    just an FYI,an AVM and cavernous hemangiomas will show up with or without contrast within the spinal cord,espescially if there has been even a small bleed.any actual bleed would be called hemosiderin staining on any rad report.Marcia
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    Old 07-27-2006, 07:28 AM   #5
    Sunshine008
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    Re: Is contrast important in full spine MRI?

    Thanks so much for your replies. I feel confident now that they'll see what they need to see. I'm actually hoping they see something...anything that doesn't belong at this point. I've been ill and in pain almost 2 years now and there's definitely something going on...they just haven't found it yet. Let's hope this mri will help me get on the road to feeling better (or atleast give me a reason why I'm not! )

    Thanks again for the help.

    Last edited by Sunshine008; 07-27-2006 at 12:16 PM.

     
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