confused by wording of neurologist's letter


Was wondering if anyone could shed some light on some wording / terminology?

I’ve had health problems for a while, some symptoms may fit with MS. I got referred to a neurologist who said that he thought it was probablty anxiety related and unlikely to be neurological. However, he said he would authorise an MRI to be on the safe side and put my mind at rest.

3 weeks after the MRI, he sent me a very vague letter saying that having seen the results, he would like to meet with me again to ‘reassess my current situation’ and ‘discuss management’. Unfortunately he is on holiday so my appointment isn’t for over a month, and the hospital are reluctant to give me more information until then. After several phonecalls to my GP, I have been told that the brain MRI showed “patches suspicious of demylination”. I understand the demyleination bit, but was wondering what is meant by 'patches suspicious of '… it seems to me quite a vague description… am I right in thinking that it means that the MRI results are a bit unclear and I need more tests to be sure? The neurology dpt have been a bit vague about it all when I phoned to ask , and have said they are not able to give detailed info on the phone. does anyone have any experience / idea of what this wording indicates?


Found this on page 2. Your post may have been held for moderation (this site has had problems with spammers). Hopefully someone will be along to help. Angela x

Hi Anon,

It just means: “looks like”, “suggestive of”, or “points to”. It doesn’t necessarily mean the scan wasn’t clear. It just means whoever wrote up the report (which may have been Radiology, rather than your neuro) didn’t commit themselves to what the exact cause might be.

They’ve just said: “It looks like…” That may be because it would take a more specialist person (the neuro?) to analyse the exact appearance, and see if he thinks it’s demyelination or not. As he is going on to talk about “management”, I would guess that yes, he does agree that it’s demyelination. If he thought it wasn’t, I’m not sure why he’d be trying to manage it, although I suppose it’s possible he believes it’s some other condition, that also needs managing.



I am sorry you have this worry on your hands. Unfortunately, I really do not think there is much to be gained by trying to read the tea-leaves on this one. Anything you manage to glean from here is going to be guesswork and leave you none the wiser - these things do not mean much out of context. Anything else you glean from the department or the GP is going to be incomplete. If you can bear it, please try to put this to the back of your mind until consultation time. Good luck with it all. Alison

Thanks Alison, - I was thinking exactly that when I woke up this morning (great minds think alike LOL). I guess I just have to try and stay calm and be patient (although patience has never been one of my strong points :wink: ) I am sure everything will become clear in due course.

thanks for the reply, hope you are doing ok x