Help with MRI results

Hi I am new here and been looking around this very informative site

I wonder if anyone can help me with reading my MRI report

My GP suspected MS due to my range of symptoms I have just recieved my MRI results can anyone help me understand them.its says there are a couple of solitary nonspecific foci of T2 and FLAIR hyperintensity within the subcortical white matter in the frontal lobes.There is loss of the normal cervical addition there is a posterior disc/osteophyte bar at the C5/C6 level with indentation of the theca but no compromise of the cord or exiting nerve roots

I do not have a folow up appointment untill next year any help in understanding this would be very helpful

Many thanks


Hi Ruth, and welcome to the site

Your MRI report is saying that you have a couple of lesions (i.e. areas of damage) in the front half of your brain, but that they are not typical of any particular condition (“nonspecific”). The brain has outer layers made up of gray matter. This is called the cortex. Underneath the cortex is white matter. The white matter just under the cortex is called subcortical. The white matter further into the brain is called deep white matter. So your lesions are towards the gray matter rather than deep in the brain.

The cervical lordosis stuff means that your neck is less curved than would be expected.

The posterior disc/osteophyte bar stuff means that there is a bony growth protruding from the C5/6 vertebrae in your neck. It is pressing against the outside layer surrounding the spinal cord & protective fluid, but is not interfering with the spinal cord itself or any nerves.

I’m not a neuro or a radiologist so I can’t tell you what all this actually means in terms of a diagnosis, but I can tell you that your MRI does not meet the criteria for MS as you would have to have lesions in other parts of the brain and/or spinal cord. Also, while it is not exactly normal to have lesions, many people do - to the extent that some neuros adopt a “1 per decade of life is OK” rule. I personally don’t agree with it, but hopefully it will reassure you that 2 lesions is often considered normal. Also, MS is not the only cause of lesions. Things like migraine and vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause them.


Karen x