Can anyone help me translate my MRI report?

Hi all,

I got a copy of my MRI report and since it will be a while until I can ask someone what it means, I was wondering if one of the very clever people on here can help. I’ve already gone through Rizzo’s wonderful guide to the brain and it’s helped a lot (THANK YOU, Rizzo!), so there really are only two bits that I don’t understand:

  1. for the brain MRI with contrast:

"The previously noted frontoparietal bright signal foci suspicious for demyelating disease have not shown any signs of enhancement. No meningeal enhancement noted. No mass effect or midline shift.

Impression: No signs of activity noted in the white matter lesions."

  1. The second bit I don’t understand is the last bit of the cervical spine MRI:

“Impression: Tiny nonenhancing possibly demyelinating plaques in the cervical spine”

I find the word ‘tiny’ here a bit odd, to be honest…

I am just confused about what this means, so if anyone can spare the time, I’d be eternally grateful for a response!

Thank you,


Hi mj - I will help as much as possible but please bear in mind that I’m only going on my experience so I could be wrong. From the first question you posed I think they are referring to the fact that there are no new lesions and the lesion/lesions present aren’t showing any sign of being active - so there’s no current inflammation on the lesion. I’m not sure if you feel that you are having an episode/relapse/ flare but the MRI is suggestive that there isn’t any current inflammation. With regards to the second question they suspect that they have found only small demyelinating plaques - the non enhancing part refers to the same thing in respect that they feel that the plaques aren’t currently active- however they have said that they are possibly demyelinating plaques but as they are small which implies that they can’t be sure that they are lesions and can’t be sure if they are causes by demyelination or if its from another cause. Hope that helps a bit

Oh okay. I probably should have said that I’m not actually diagnosed, yet. But my GP who said that she’s not experienced with newly diagnosed (and I assume pre-diagnosed) MS patients seems certain. So, basically this points to MS mostly because of the lesions in the brain?

I should probably also say that I’ve been getting contradictory information: I was told in the beginning that I had no lesions in the brain, but some in the upper spine… but that’s not what the MRI is saying (as far as I understand). God, this is so confusing…

There’s numerous conditions that can cause lesions/plaques in the brain/spine. Is it just one MRI scan that you’ve had or more than 1? If this is the first brain MRI scan and there wasn’t one previously then I’m not sure how they are referring to previously noted bright signal foci.

The ‘previously’ refers to a non-contrast one they did about a week before that one.

Thanks for your advice. I keep having to re-assure myself that I really don’t know, especially since my GP seems so certain and my neuro appointment is taking so long… I’m trying not to assume it’s MS until I’m officially diagnosed since I don’t really see where my GP gets this certainty from. But it’s getting harder and harder mostly sine my balance is so bad I constantly walk like I’m drunk and people keep stopping and ask if I’m okay.

It’s hard to be in limbo land and not having a diagnosis for symptoms but try and stay positive. There’s numerous things that can cause the symptoms. Remember that everyone on here is here when you need to talk or rant. Hope you don’t have to wait too long to see the specialist

Hi Mj !

Agree with Karina! The lesions they mention in point one are basically relatively older scars not new or ‘active’ ones x

The same re the non enhancing ones in your cervical spine - but don’t be thrown by the word ‘tiny’ - as far as the spine is concerned even miniscule lesions can wreak havoc as the space is so constricted unlike the brain where you can have a really large lesion that is asymptomatic (but then you can also have a tiny one in a more crucial place that can also wreak havoc!!)

I think that the fact the radiologist is mentioning suspected demyelation and that they have followed up within a week of your first MRI with an enhanced one means they are lookng for the ‘time & space’ scenario - is this the first one of your cervical spine?


Again, they did one the week previously, but “sequences performed are standard for disk pathology rather than for exclusion of demyelination”. The GP and the orthopaedist at the local hospiutal who ordered the MRI were in a bit of a disagreement if this was neurological or orthopaedic, so I guess the first round on the spine was all about the disks, and then the next week they checked for demyelination and found some…

Aha - makes sense then! Did you get copies of the scans? xxx

No, not yet. I’ll have to pay for them. But my mum arranged for a neuro appointment in Germany (I’m originally German, but have been living and working here for years - UKIP doesn’t like me very much) for mid-September for a second opinion (more likely 1st opinion, since I have to wait so long) and I want to wait until I know if there will be more tests so that I only have to pay once for all the test results.

Good idea! I always get copies straight away after they lost some of mine! Good luck with it all! (by the way I had to quickly look up what UKIP is!)

Thanks so much for yor help!