Last reply 6 years ago
Reading an MRI?

Good news….I got all the MRI images from Phoenix so I can take them to my DR
Bad News … I can’t make sense of them

I was really hoping that I would get them and I would be able to open an image of my neck and see maybe a shiny spot or something and say “yup, there’s the active lesion” or something

But the pictures are too detailed and too myriad for me to know what I’m actually looking at…the software to go along with it doesn’t help much as I don’t really know how to use it

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Gav
6 years ago

What is it that you’re hoping to make out from them exactly? I’ve got my MRI results from my last scan, but that was more because I’m a bit nerdy 🙂


lightningduck
6 years ago

Well I got the scans because they were done in Phoenix where I was dx’d but then I moved back to Colorado Springs (long story) where my Dr is in Aurora. They faxed the record but not the scans…so Phoenix mailed me the scans to take to Aurora..

So I’ve got them!

Really, though, I think in a bit of self-introspection I was hoping to see one image or something where the lesion was obvious..maybe a bit of an emotional come to terms with my attacker…I dunno, just thought it would be cool 🙂

Even though I got 5 scans done and I know where the active lesion is/was (C-4), I can’t interpret the images enough to see what I know is there


boodle06
6 years ago

I think id be totally freaked out by seeing my scans, I’m too scared to see things like that!


aardvark
6 years ago

Hey @boodle06 I wouldn’t worry about that too much, I saw mine on the screen just after they had been done, and frankly it was like staring into a hedge. The technician I was chatting to said that they got sent to India (electronically I guess), and that they were interpreted by experts there. Presumably because it was very difficult, and therefore expensive… As @lightningduck has discovered, seeing raw MRI sacans leaves you none the wiser!


Anonymous
6 years ago

@lightningduck You can actually request a disc with your scans on it. They belong to you. And I would ask for the paper description of the scans, as well. Based on the description, you may be able to find the lesions for yourself. I file all of the that nonsense just in case the doctor’s office loses something. (They never do that.) So @Gav, that makes me a bigger nerd than you.


boodle06
6 years ago

I think i got too scared when i walked into the room after having my first, seeing there was a big White blob on his screen, that made me run away from the room shouting “I don’t want to die”!!! That did it for me!!!


lightningduck
6 years ago

@heatherl – That’s actually what I have since I need to take it to my Dr. Each Scan is in a directory with a PDF and about 200 images (there is some HTML files and a program that make it all navigable)

Here’s a sample from one scan

Procedure: MRI Cervical Spine wwo Contrast

COMPARISON: None
Technique: Multiplanar multisequence MR images of the cervical spine were obtained. A total of 15 mL of multihance IV contrast was administered.
FINDINGS:
Vertebral body height and alignment is maintained throughout the cervical spine. There is a normal cervical lordosis. There is good alignment between the
lateral masses of C1 and C2. Bone marrow signal is within normal limits. The cord is of normal caliber. Increased signal is noted within the dorsal aspect
of the cervical cord at C4 which spans approximately one vertebral body length. Increased T2 signal is noted along the LEFT aspect of the cervical cord at the C5-C6 level which spans approximately one vertebral body length. There is associated enhancement involving the C4 lesion. A LEFT eccentric disc osteophyte complex is noted at C5-C6 which effaces the ventral CSF space. The dorsal CSF space is preserved. Mild to moderate LEFT neural foraminal narrowing is noted at C5-C6. Paraspinous soft tissues are within normal limits. Limited evaluation of the posterior fossa on T2 weighted images reveals no abnormality. Lung apices are clear.
IMPRESSION:
1. Areas of increased cord signal involving the cervical spine at the C4 and
C5-C6 level which can be seen with a demyelinating process. The lesion at C4 demonstrates enhancement which may represent acute or active plaque.
2. Cervical spondylosis at C5-C6 as described above.
MR20120010181

(I left a lot out)

But I can’t find/identify in the pictures the actual enhancement on C-4 🙂


Anonymous
6 years ago

@lightningduck Wouldn’t it be great if they weren’t really there and this was all just a big joke? In actuality, the enhancement may be as large as a pinprick. You need a magnifier. Our eyes aren’t trained to find the lesions on the scans like the doc can. Look again. It’s there. Good luck. I kinda like my scans; they make me look like an alien. Muhahahaha.


stumbler
6 years ago

Many moons ago, my Neuro showed me my scan. He pointed to it telling me that that was the problem.
I said no that’s just a small smudge on your photograph!
What do I know?


lightningduck
6 years ago

That would be cruel, @heatherl 🙂

@stumbler, yeah, that’s kinda how I’m feeling 🙂


igc2491
6 years ago

I was surprised to find a brain when I looked at mine with the Nero tbh!!!


lloyd
6 years ago

I have Cd copies of all my MRI tests and I have opened them on my computer and played with it for a while and I was able to see my stenosis in my spine and the lesions. I didn’t. Know they were lesions at the time but there were white spots some in my neck and back are up to a 1/2 inch but the three in mybrain were small.


lottie
6 years ago

My neuro shows me all the time and we compare old to new ones (well most of the time) my lesions are very obvious big white blobs. Rather a lot two. But i can prob see them cause he knows where to look to point them out to me 😉


lottie
6 years ago

*Too


lightningduck
6 years ago

I’m seeing what I suspect they might be but it looks like a rather disorganized white spider web in my neck and I’m not sure if that’s it or not


Anonymous
6 years ago

@lightningduck, you should have some scans noted as “gadolinium” or enhanced… these are the images you want to be looking at. When they do MRI’s they normally do some with the enhancement after they do the general scans. When you find the one or ones noted as gadolinium, look for your cervical spine (neck) and the lesion should appear as an elongated oval (short fat worm) according to the radiologist’s finding of it being approx. a vertebrae’s length in size. Spinal lesions are often not bright white like brain lesions on MRI scans but are more “ghostlike” , The report stated that it was in the dorsal region so at the back. When they say that there is a signal or increased signal it refers to the lesions being 5mm in size or bigger. There are some good sites on the internet about reading MRI’s for students of radiography. A few show some great examples of normal vs typical MS lesions vs abnormalities characteristic with age etc. Not sure what you are seeing that might look like a spider web other than the myelin around your spinal cord is white and can be of varying thicknesses throughout the length of the cord. Your cord, as well can show narrowing in places so it too can be “wonky” looking. Think biology class and looking at amoebas and look for them in the white stuff on either side of your spinal cord…. I hope that helps 🙂


Anonymous
6 years ago

Hi @lightningduck, just checking to see if you were able to spot your elusive lesion on your MRI yet?


lynne
6 years ago

i am confused. my ms is very active at the moment but lastest scans suggest there are no new lesions and no inflamation of the existing. after saying that im currently, and have been for a month in a wheelchair when i dont normally use one. why might the medical evidence and the actual physical evidence not match please?


Anonymous
6 years ago

Research has shown that the number of lesions present and new lesions occurring do not represent or indicate the level of disability of a person with MS. Inflammation in areas where lesions are present generally appearing initially but not necessarily in older lesions and in certain forms of MS there is limited to no inflammation present. I read a lot 🙂 hope this helps.


lynne
6 years ago

thank you. was beginning to think my consultant thought i was making it it!! and i thought i was loosing my marbles lol


Anonymous
6 years ago

nah definitely not losing your marbles 😛 There are many with MS with lesions too small to detect on MRI or only a single or couple of lesions with no new lesions noted on MRI at all yet their disability level increases. Unfortunately, MRI is not a definitive diagnostic tool for a variety of reasons, one being that it cannot detect smaller lesions and it only signals lesions of 5mm in size or larger. I have not yet figured out what the purpose of having multiple MRI’s done over the years as it doesn’t really indicate the progression of the disease in relation to what presents physically… so I would think that physical disability would be more indicative of the course of the disease than an MRI or any other test for that matter… but that’s just me 😛


lightningduck
6 years ago

@maggie – not yet but I’ve been pretty busy the last few days so haven’t had a chance to go poking again


Anonymous
6 years ago

Well said Maggie !
If we could establish the reading of an MRI I think we would all be Neurologists.
MS is such a complex ailment, there are really no hard & fast rules. As Gav mentioned in one of his broadcasts – MS is as unique to each of us as we are all unique individuals.
Leave it to the experts.

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