Question about diagnosis

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anniebooboo
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 1/25/2008 3:19 AM (GMT -6)   
How many of you have had clear MRI's (no lesions) only to have a positive subsequent MRI? Has anyone been diagnosed with MS with a clear MRI? What was this process?
Annie

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 1/25/2008 6:15 AM (GMT -6)   

I can't be REAL helpful, as I was diagnosed with MS long before MRI's were even invented. But here's what I can tell you:

MRI's are not an exact "science".  The same MRI "read"  (looked at) by two or three different doctors can sometimes be seen differently...one will see lesions, another won't.

MRI's can change from session to session, even a few days apart, certainly months or years apart. What might show up on one MRI won't be there the next, and vice versa.

MRI equipment differs.  The newer machines are much more accurate.  "Closed" MRI's, where you enter a tube, are generally more accurate than "open" MRI's where there is space along your sides...but even that is changing as the equipment is improving.

MRI's "with contrast" -- with a dye injected in you before the MRI, and which will show up as white bright areas in the brain -- are sometimes more accurate than MRI's "without contrast".

People nowadays who are diagnosed with MS without clear evidence on an MRI usuallly exhibit the classic signs of MS, which can be detected by the doctor during a physical exam, include altered eye movements, abnormal responses of the pupils, sublte changes in speech pattersn, altered reflex responses, impaired coordination, sensory disturbances, evidence of spasticity and weakness in the limbs, and o-bands in the spinal fluid (obtained through a spinal tap, or lumbar puncture).

I don't know if any of this fits your situation, though.


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


anniebooboo
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 1/26/2008 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Uppity,
I was given an MRI Dec 2007 which came back clear. The neurologist only had the paper report from radiologist and did not see films himself because he spent a large amount of time looking for them. He did NOT see them at all. I was dismissed with instructions to come back if I got worse. The MRI was not done with contrast and I did not have many symptoms when it was done. The report noted "several small perivascular spaces in the basal ganglia not worrying for demyelination". Everything else was normal. In an earlier physical exam he remarked on some muscle wastage I have on my right side and also a large area of numbness on this side of my back. I still have lots of symptoms, including what he termed L'Hermittes, but the worst symptom is right sided exhaustion. I also have a new symptom where my right index finger twitches strongly for extended periods of time(I don't know if this is significant for MS or anything else) Another very unusual thing is the sensation of all my muscles quivering/tingling post exercise. In fact my left foot buzzes constantly. I feel that my "wiring" is wrong. Just after christmas I had a week or so where I was constantly dizzy. I did not visit a dr and the problem went away.
I don't even know why I still read this forum. After the dr gave me the all clear I disciplined myself to stop reading into symptoms and to stop my preoccupation with these annoying symptoms. I stopped visiting this fantastic on-line support group as I wanted to move on. However, I'm back and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it is to get reassurance? I know what is happening can't be right. I shouldn't buzz and twitch and have an exhausted and numb half of my body, should I? I shouldn't struggle with fatigue and reflux and suffer with a constant choking sensation. I know this is not a stress condition at the moment as I have had many weeks holiday from teaching. I just feel like a major loser and I am so over dr's.
What do I do from here? Can you get a diagnois from EVP's? I haven't asked for further testing but wonder if I should.
Annie

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 1/27/2008 6:07 AM (GMT -6)   
You said, "I was dismissed with instructions to come back if I got worse". That's not an "all clear". That's an instruction to "...come back if (you) get worse". So you should. You should keep a log of your symptoms, note if there are any patterns to their occurrance (like, if you get overly tired, or over exercised, or overheated, or...), And then call him. Remind him that he said, "...come back if you get worse", and so here you are.

Other things should be tested for, and your family physician can do that (other than the neuro)...things like thyroid problems (either over- or under-active), diabetes, other infectious disease -- have you had a spinal tap (or lumbar puncture)? That can sometimes indicate what might be going on in your body, too.

Stress can cause symptoms, of course, and it's not always possible to clearly link something going on in your life with stress. Having these peculiar symptoms is stressful, after all! So you really need to go back to this doctor and tell him what's going on.

An alternative is to seek a second opinion -- find a different neuro. But if I were you I'd probably want to be sure first (through testing with my family physician) that there isn't something else (maybe not neurological) going on, that explains my symptoms.
...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


anniebooboo
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 1/27/2008 7:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Uppity - You make a lot of sense. i will make an appointment to see a GP just to get checked out. It's not normal. Will keep in touch.
Annie
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