Please Help Me Understand MRI Report!

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 11/3/2008 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   

I received a copy of my 18-year old daughter's MRI Report that she had done because of chronic headaches - this is what it says:

An area of increased signal intensity in the right frontal region persists. This measures about 8 or 9 mm in diameter and is seen just lateral to the right frontal horn. With Magnevist enhancement there is no contrast enhancement in this area or elsewhere in the brain. No other deep white matter tract lesions are seen.


1. Persistent deep white matter tract lesion in the right frontal lobe. This does not show any contrast enhancement. This could represent a microvascular lesion or perhaps a solitary multiple sclerosis plaque. Old trauma could have this appearance. An inflammatory or infectious lesion could possibly have this appearance but the lack of contrast enhancement tends to rule this out.

2. A repeat contrast enhanced MRI in about 3 months is recommended for follow-up.

3. There is no sign of mass effect or midline shift.

Any medical folks out there who could help me put this in non-medical people's terms, it would be greatly appreciated!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 11/3/2008 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi alohamom.
I and, unfortunately, my son have suffered with migraines for son started with them when he was 4; so I can speak as a Mom and as a migraneur. I used to try to interpret these reports and you can read so much into them; I finally determined that it is very difficult and very often unwise, to try and decipher an MRI report; especially in this case.

White matter lesions can be seen in a lot of different circumstances for many reasons. I'm going to paste a quote from an article on interpreting MRI's, specifically white matter signal changes; I'm also pasting the link so you can read the entire article:

"White matter signal changes on MRI may also be seen in patients who have infectious and other inflammatory conditions. They have been reported in the MRI of patients with a history of migraine headaches (migraine too is a vascular disorder and that may explain the connection).

So I want to end by saying that the presence of these white matter signal changes on brain MRI has to be correlated to the history, clinical examination and other ancillary investigations. Your doctor shall help you in going about this in a methodical manner. "


My MRI's light up like a Christmas Tree; I've learned that it's just part of the migraine damage and, since I have a great neurologist, I trust in him to take care of me. Interestingly, my son's MRI's no longer have as much "damage" since his headaches have calmed down.

Good luck, make a follow up appt. with your Dr.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 11/3/2008 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Janice,

You are a doll! Thanks for your quick reply! I suffer from health anxiety (but am dealing ok with meds and therapy), so you can imagine when it's your child how difficult it is! I know that getting on the internet just fuels my anxiety, but sometimes I feel like I can't help it! The computer feels like a magnet to me!

Anyway, we see a neurologist for a new patient appt. this Wednesday - I even documented everything on paper for Wednesday's visit, hoping it will be a help for the neurologist - again, thanks for your info in your reply!

Take care!
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