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Can it be MS with only Spinal Lesions?

Hi my brain MRI was clear and also my LP, I have a MRI Spine Lumbar/Sacral, Spine Thoracic scan next week just to cross the t’s and dot the i’s.

Firstly, how long is this likely to take and secondly, if they find lesions can MS still be diagnosed without a positive brain and LP but with symptoms that have come and gone over the last four years?

Thanks in advance.

Linda

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Hi Linda,

I believe the technical answer is yes, it still could be, but in practice would be very rare, and would certainly cause them to be hesitant about an MS diagnosis.

It would also depend how many lesions in the spine, and where. If there was just a single lesion, I don’t believe this could ever be diagnosed as MS, as it doesn’t satisfy the McDonald criteria (evidential rules for diagnosis).

Even if there were two or more lesions at quite different parts of the spine, it usually still wouldn’t be sufficient for diagnosis, as there needs to be proof they got there at different times - which there couldn’t be, from a single MRI.

So my feeling is that even if your spinal MRI showed an abnormality, it won’t be sufficient for an MS diagnosis, no.

It might be the difference between discharge and/or referral to another specialism and keeping the book open to see what happens, though.

Tina

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Thanks Tina for the reply.

I pretty much think it will be negative and all these symptoms will be put down to stress but just wondered if it was possible to have lesions in the spine and to be diagnosed with MS. I agree they would probably need other factors other than recurrence of symptoms (numerous).

Thanks

Linda

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I don’t know. I’m a bit surprised that they aren’t scanning your cervical spine, though, given that they’ve done your brain and are are doing the lower-down bits. Are you sure they didn’t do c-spine at the same time as they did your brain? (Brain + c-spine is a pretty common combination that many of us, including me, will have had at one session when MS has been a suspect.) But that’s just a general observation - your medical advisors are dealing not with generalities but with you in particular and they know what they want and why.

I hope that the next set of results help you forward in finding out what is the matter, whatever that turns out to be.

Good luck.

Alison

Hi Alison

Thanks for your message. I had my head and cervical spine scanned which proved negative also my LP was negative so all good news there. I think the neuro is doing the lower half so that we can say we have explored all options.

I mentioned that if this too was clear I would go home and just get on with things as there would be nothing medically wrong with me and that we would put it down to stress. She seemed happy to agree with this.

I am beginning to realise that stress can play funny tricks on our bodies!

Regards

Linda

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1 Like

Hi Linda

im in a similar situation but my sympotms keep coming and getting worse, I wonder what shmptoms you have so far and for how long? I know they say sometimes early on people can have clear MRIs

Hi Kris

Over the past 4 years my symptoms have come and gone however the pins and needles down one side never leaves me. My worst time was 4 years ago I had pins and needles in my head and it felt like it was on fire. My speech was slurred and my co-ordination was wrong. I also feel like the inside of my legs are vibrating. My head has a tremor too which is annoying but no-one else can see it. I also get a lot of UTIs.

​Hope you can get to the bottom of your symptoms soon.

Linda

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Hi Linda

I have suspected MS with only spinal lesions. Brain scan is clear. Had LP on 2 March but as yet no results.

hope you get some answers soon

Cindy x

Hi Cindy

The MRI is tonight and thank you for your reply. I would have thought you would have your LP results by now, mine took a couple of weeks. I hope they turn out to be clear. It’s a long road to travel this MS thingy, do I don’t I…?

Take care and all the best.

Linda

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Hi Linda

Good luck tonight.

I had a couple of results back but not the o band (think that’s what it is called). I also had 10 syringes of blood taken on the 9 mar and had no results from these. Spoke to neuro dept 4 weeks ago and was told they were all back and letter had been typed to GP but still nothing. Going to ring again on Monday

Cindy x

I think an LP takes about a month to get results not sure about nhs I had to go private or wait aaages

ehat sympotoms have you got cinders

and Linda what is the mri of

I had my LP 27th March on the NHS I got my results (positive for O bands) 2nd April so it can be quick on NHS. I had also however got multiple Brain and spine lesions on MRI also.

Snowqueen x

hi snowmen did they tell you the number of bands

No I believe numbers are irrelevant as long as there is more than 2 in CSF not in blood.

My official letter said an Oligoclonal Band Pattern in the CSF with non present in the serum therefore confirms the diagnosis of MS. This was with abnormal neurological signs/ history and MRI.

Snowqueen

Hi Kris

i have had problems with my left leg for about 18 months. Initially after walking for a couple of miles my leg would start dragging and my foot made a slapping sound. I can now only walk about 1/4 of a mile before this happens and need to use a walking stick or crutches at all times. My arms are either numb or tingly when I wake up and I have slight bladder problems. I was refered to neuro in July 2014 and eventually had a brain scan in Oct 2014 which was clear and was told I had cervical myelopathy and would need urgent surgery. They decided to do a cervical and thoracic MRI (done twice) and found 3 T2 hypertension spinal lesions. 1 in cervical area - left hemi cord and 2 in the thoracic cord.

Thanks Snowqueen - i will definitely ring on Monday.

Cindy x

There’s something new

i was told although not official that the number is a bit of a prognostic factor as it shows the ammount of inflammation in the spina cord, two is low

Hi Kris,

That may well be the case however if you read the medical research it suggests it may suggest prognosis but is an insensitive marker so can’t be relied upon. I don’t know how many I have just that I have a O band pattern which is all the report said and it’s only in my CSF not my blood so is isolated to my Brain and Spine.

I think my MRI and symptoms demonstrate how much inflammation/ damage there is. Like I said there is a lot of evidence to support my diagnosis. I don’t know type for definite yet but my Consultant has said it’s probably progressive. So I am just trying to get on with my life, I’m trying not to think about what might happen with my MS and do what I can do now while I can, easier said than done at times.

Snowqueen x

Hi snowqueen that’s true

how are you getting on by the way? And I’m sure if you have lesions or a number of them then you have a better chance of being RRMS?

Hi Linda,

I hope your scan went well tonight and that you don’t have too long to wait for the results.

Snowqueen x

Hi Cindy,

No worries. I hope you get the results soon.

Snowqueen x