mri w/out contrast?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 6/5/2008 3:02 AM (GMT -6)   
can an mri w/out contrast show lesions?
i went today for an mri w/contrast, they did the initial scans w/out the contrast.  then when they came in to inject the contrast they couldn't get the vein. 
they said that they would send the scans they did to the neuro and if he still wanted the contrast i'd have to go to a lab first.
the problem is that i had a hard time getting my neuro to order the test in the first place and now i don't know what he'll do.  so, i was wondering if any of you had ever had lesions found on a mri w/out contrast?

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 343
   Posted 6/5/2008 6:30 AM (GMT -6)   
My first MRI's were without contrast and showed minor areas of concern but nothing enough to conclude lesions, it actually pinpointed an area of concern on the pituitary which sent me back for that instead and then with contrast... then we spent the next 18months trying to disprove MS until the Optic Neuritis set in, and he sent me for MRI's both ways ... my lesions still don't show. (They sometimes don't.) His favorite saying is that before MRI's we used to dx MS, so we still can today based on the other myriad of symptoms presented.
So I'd wait and see... I think they are hesitant for MRI's becos of expense and insurance companies start denying them later on if they appear to be "abused" procedures etc... it's a tricky  game they balance. Contrast also presents its own set of risks with some folks too... reactions, allergies etc.
Fear knocked ~ Faith Answered ~ No one was there! :)
 ~ Ephesians 6:13 ~  * ~ Psalm 27:1 ~

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3571
   Posted 6/5/2008 7:56 AM (GMT -6)   

I actually wish my doctor would only use the MRI without contrast.  That dye is not good for you.  The dye can cross the blood-brain barrier and it shows if there is an active lesion at the time of the MRI.  Lesions will show up without the dye you just won't be able to tell if they are active or old ones.  The dye causes the lesion to by very white instead of sort of light gray.  That is my understanding anyway.

I am sorry they could not find vein.  That can be stressful and uncomfortable. 

Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006

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