confused by Neuro letter

Hi everybody! Following a Neuro appt at the end of January,I had a brain MRI in March and a follow up appt with a different Neuro on May 9th. The first Neuro found ‘nothing to worry’ her, but requested an MRI to ‘rule out ms’. (although I’m under the impression ms cannot actually be ruled out with MRI?) When I saw the second Neuro, the MRI had not been reported on (two months later!) So she said ‘I’ll do it myself then!’ All appeared normal so she discharged me. Last week I received a copy of two letters sent to my gp. The first, stating the above, and the second saying she had received the formal report and it stated ‘on one sequence there were some minor changes but was difficult to characterise and couldn’t be seen on the other sequences. I have therefore requested a repeat scan as I would like to be absolutely certain that we are not missing any diagnosis.’ I have now received an appt for mid June for an MRI head, and MRI spine cervical. What on earth does all that mean? Could I just have moved slightly during my scan? I’m still non the wiser! Thanks for reading!


I don’t think it’s necessarily anything you’ve done (like move!)

I had similar following one of my earliest scans. Like yours, the reports said the suspect features weren’t visible on all sets, and that they needed to rule out an “artefactual lesion”.

I thought: “OMG, what’s an artefactual lesion?”, but found out it just means one that is an “artefact” or “quirk” of the scanning process - i.e. not real!

Unfortunately, in my case, it was not an “artefactual” lesion, but further scans proved it to be a real one, because it showed up again in the same place (impossible, if it was just some fluke).

It was very hard to spot, though. When I was shown it on the computer, it was not how you think of a lesion - with defined edges - but a very slight region of mistiness. It was no wider than a bit of dental floss! This was in my spinal cord, though - I’m told those are typically much harder to spot.

I do hope yours will turn out it was just a fluke of the scan, and can’t be replicated on future attempts.



Sequence means a type of scan. The letter basically means that there are some possible lesions on one type of scan, but that they couldn’t be seen on the other type that you’d expect to see them. This might be two completely different types of scan or it might be the same type of scan, but taken from different directions.

Different scan types are often taken at different resolutions: it might be that the possible abnormalities are showing in a scan with a higher resolution, ie more detail, but are being lost on the lower resolution scan. This often happens.

Small lesions can be very hard to spot and are often missed completely if the scans aren’t high enough resolution. So it’s really good that the radiologist has spotted them and that the neuro is making double sure that there’s nothing to worry about. A lot of neuros don’t worry too much about small lesions, so it sounds like you’re in good hands, especially as she’s willing to admit that she missed them when she looked at your scans!

Karen x

Thank you Karen and Tina for your replies. So it does look like there’s something then? I guess all I can do is wait until the next scan has been reported on, and hope that doesn’t take another two months! Kay xxx