Brain MRI Question..

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TakinCharge
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 1/15/2011 12:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a brain MRI about mid-year last year after falling and hitting the back of my neck on a table.  Would they have been able to see anything regarding MS from that or is there a certain type to test for MS??
 
Thanks,
 
Lisa

Gretchen1
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3565
   Posted 1/15/2011 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Possibly.  I had just your basic run of the mill MRI with and without contrast the very first time, before I was diagnosed.  My neuro always wants the MRI done with and without contrast. 
 
I know that with the spinal MRI, if they suspect MS or know they are checking MS, they do have some different views they use.  I think the brain is pretty standard but I don't actually know for sure.

MRI Education
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/19/2011 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
As the Medical Education Director for an independent clinic in Vancouver, BC I hope you will find the following information to be helpful.

It sounds as the the MRI that you had done was a routine brain MRI which, while highly sensitive for evaluating injury/bleeding, would not have been the appropriate test for the evaluation of MS. The MS protocol that is run is highly specific and runs additional protocols to those that are done with a routine brain. The likelihood of determining anything related to MS from the scan that you had would have been quite remote as the correct protocol was not being run. Should you have concerns in this area it would be best for you to open up a dialogue with your referring physician to determine if another scan would be best.

All the best to you.

TakinCharge
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 1/19/2011 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the explanation. So the difference is more than contrast / non-contrast?
 
Lisa

MRI Education
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/20/2011 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes...contrast is used as an enhancement tool and may/may not be used with a scan on order to better identify certain regions/areas of the body...it is added to a "protocol". Consider the "protocol" to be the entire scan from start to finish. The technician will have an established protocol that has been designed, in conjunction with the radiologist, for looking at a very specific area of the body...this protocol is then broken down into a number of "sequences"...these are the 1min-5 min segments when you are asked to lay very still and the machine is garnering images. Your scan may last 30 mins and would have been broken into 5-7 different sequences in order to garner an entire set of images from different planes and angles. Each protocol will have very different sequences that have been established to look at very specific regions, whether or not contrast is administered. In that way a "routine brain" MRI, while looking at very specific areas of the brain is missing an additional sequence or two designed to look specifically for MS lesions. And typically speaking, the MS scan is actually done without contrast.

To give you an example, our particular clinic offers 16 different kinds of brain scans...all with different protocols...some will use a "routine brain" as the foundation, however the added sequences make them a very different scan in the end (with or without contrast being administered). Also consider the fact that each image garnered is done so on a "slice" basis (literally consider this just as you would slicing a loaf of bread), these slices may have a distance of 2-5 mm between each image garnered. So you can imagine how many different images of the brain can be generated using different protocols and focusing on different areas of the brain. Although we may look at the brain as a relatively small region of the body, consider how many images could be garnered using such thin slices. Which is why a routine brain is not specific enough for an MS evaluation.

I hope this helps, please let me know if there is anything else that isn't entirely clear, very happy to offer my thoughts.

Kind regards,

Kim

TakinCharge
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 1/25/2011 7:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow..thanks for all the info, Kim!
 
Although, seems like I have read many times that an MRI checking for MS is done WITH contrast......?
 
Lisa

gagirl74
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 2/21/2011 8:05 AM (GMT -6)   
mri education, thank you for all that very helpful info.i think I'm going to bring up to my neurologist about a new mri. didn't realize all the different types mri for the brain.i had basic w and w/o contrast. didn't show any lesions. but I've been told don't have to show any to have ms. but now I wonder if I do actually have some lesions if they did correct mri for ms. thanks again very helpful info.
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