Help needed please,doctor speak into plain english

hi all, I decided to get copies of the letters my consultant had written, which I collected from the docs today, however I need help understanding what is being said.

The first consultant I saw on 9/10/12 said diagnosis non disabling stroke. CT head - showed small lacunar in the left hemisphere below attenuation changes in the white matter.

A different consultant at the same hospital said diagnosis possible hypoperfusion syndrome with presyncopal symptoms and focal weakness.Later in the letter he says a diagnosis of stroke is less likely, he also said the CT scan was normal.

Don’t understand why one said one thing about CT and the other said it was normal. Also is any of the above likely in MS???

Any help much apprieciated

Thanks Nat

Please remember that I’m not a neuro.

The 9/10/12 report says that you had a small stroke deep into the left side of the brain caused by the blockage of an artery - it showed as a small dark patch underneath an area that was darker than would be expected normally.

The other consultant said that it might be a problem with reduced oxygen levels in the brain which led to symptoms that people get before they faint (like dizziness, weakness and a narrowing and/or dimming of vision). He doesn’t think it’s a stroke.

CT, like MRI, is open to interpretation. It would probably be best to get a third opinion and/or a new scan to be sure.

This is not the kind of result that is related to MS as it is a vascular problem rather than demyelination. It’s possible to have both conditions of course, but you would most likely have lesions if it was MS. (Although CT is not as good as MRI at showing up MS lesions.)


Karen x

Thanks karen, that makes much more sense. I have tests done before at another hospital, same thing happened one consultant thought he could see something and then the neuro reassured me it was just part of me and nothing to worry about. I have recently had an mri and the consultant has said it was clear,so that is good.We do put our faith in these people. He also has said he doesn’t think it is vascular,so still no wiser as to what is causing my symptoms,should be seeing another neuro sometime soon,will chase that up today.

Thanks once again Karen,you are such a big help

Nat xx

This may be a daft idea, but if you have presyncope symptoms (syncope means faint/fainting), it may have something to do with blood pressure - which is probably what the second consultant was talking about because sudden low blood pressure means a lack of oxygen getting to the brain which triggers a faint. This makes us fall / lie down and that increases blood supply to the brain - protecting it from a lack of oxygen. There are a number of things involved in blood pressure (kidneys, hormones, brain, heart + ?) and a problem with any of them might cause ongoing symptoms. Have you had your blood pressure taken in both arms, one immediately after the other? A significant difference can be a sign of a problem. (This happened to someone on here last year.) Kx