Can someone help me interpret MRI?

Hi sorry to post here but have posted on new dx forum, and no one has responded, I expect because they don’t know the answer. hoping someone can help me with info, cos I am going out of my mind with worry. Had episode of weakness in left side on 2010, MRI brain clear, and discharged with no dx. In Dec 2013, had ON (Dxed on basis of symptoms, and RAPD present). In Jan 2014 I had what they think was L’Hermittes. Saw neuro in March, she said in letter focal neurological signs present, and pale optic disc. sent me for EP, and full spine head MRI with contrast. Cut along story short, huge delays getting MRI results, got them yesterday with the following: MRI spine whole with contrast. Images are degraded by patient motion. There are possibly a few areas of t2 hyperintense signal change in the posterior cervical spinal cord at c5 and C6 levels. No areas of abnormal signal enhancement within the spinal cord. The brain MRI is normal. I’d really love some help on this - my GP wasn’t willing/able to comment, so I am really worrying. Thanks Leah :slight_smile:

Ps haven’t been formally told but heard someone say no delays found in relation to the VEP, so assume that was normal.


On the positive side, your brain was clear.

Unfortunately, though, they are saying the scan of your spinal cord was inconclusive, because you moved! They are saying there could be some lesions in the cervical (neck area), but it seems it was not clear enough to be sure.

Again, on the positive side, they are not saying they’ve defnitely found anything - only some “maybes”. I’m not surprised your doctor wasn’t willing to say anything - I’m not sure the MRI report really says anything. It amounts to: “There might be something, but we’re not sure”.

I’m not sure what happens now. Presumably your neuro will either make a judgement on whether he thinks it’s “anything”, or ask for the scan to be done again. I shouldn’t think he would be very happy to draw conclusions based on unsatisfactory images.


Thanks Tina, for explaining that to me… I was afraid that was the case. I have to confess I am going to be pretty peed off if I have to go through the process of another MRI again: this last time it was ordered in March, I had to wait 6 weeks for the scan itself, and then a further 8 weeks for the scan to be interpreted. grrr. Also annoyed that while they were doing the scan they didn’t notice I had moved and redo it there and then. What a waste of time and money for everyone! If we assume that the “possible” things found on the spinal cord are actually there, do you know what these hyperintense changes mean? Does it mean lesions? Is this something that could be the cause of my weakness and lhermittes? Thanks again, Leah :slight_smile:

Hi again,

The description could be consistent with lesions, but as they’re not positive the damn things are even there, I’d be extremely wary of reading too much into it. The overall tone is very non-committal - apart from the bits they said were definitely clear (yippee!)

It would be relatively unusual, but not impossible, to have spinal cord lesions in the absence of any brain lesions at all, so that could point to them not being real, but I wouldn’t like to say.

I too thought they had ways to compensate for the subject accidentally moving, and just re-ran the affected sequences. I don’t know why it has taken them eight weeks for them to come up with (I’m paraphrasing): “These scans weren’t very good, and might or might not show something…” You would have thought somebody might have detected earlier that they weren’t highest quality.

Maybe, in conjunction with your symptoms, your neuro will decide it is good enough evidence? Who knows? I’d personally guess on him wanting another look, though.


Hi Tina, Thanks again. For me this is (short term at least) worst case scenario - I appreciate long term I may see things differently. I am pretty sure that they will not diagnose on the basis of these images, based on my own gut instinct, and your messages too. And to be honest, would I really want them to? I suppose that all I can do is to wait it out… And hope for some answers someday… Thanks Tina :slight_smile: