MRI of the Brain and Spine

Hi. I just wondered how common it is to have an MRI of the Brain and Spine for diagnosis (or is it usually just done on the brain) or could it mean they suspect something other than MS? I just got a call saying that they’d had an urgent referral for me to have it done on both my head and Spine and it will last for 50 mins, I’m also having a lumbar puncher and got to see someone about my eyes. Sorry I’m extra worried now. Thank you so much for reading. X

Hi I had brain and C spine MRI scan for my first scan before diagnosis. The best thing I would suggest is relax as much as you can and try not to worry, I know its hard. It sounds like the team are being thorough and thats a good thing.

An urgent referral in the NHS can mean up to two weeks time. Which would be normal that’s what I had. You may get it done sooner it just depends on availablity of free slots in the scanner. xx

I always get photos sessions on both brain and upper spine.

Standard procedure.

Nothing to worry about.

If you already got through a Lumbar Puncture, the rest is easy. Just lie back and relax!

Thank you so much for your replies, makes me feel alot better, I had seen lots of people having brain scans but not spine at the same time so worried me a bit. It’s all happening so fast, only saw the neurologist on Friday and had bloods done. Haven’t had the lumbar puncher yet (not looking forward to it). Mri is next Tuesday. It’s so nice to come on here and have people who understand. Thanks again x

I am sure the LP will be fine. Two tips apparently, are to be in absolutely no hurry to sit up after the test and to drink lots of cola (Pepsi or Coke are fine, but none of that diet / zero rubbish).

And also please note, i said ‘apparently’ above as i never endured an LP myself in order to acquire diagnosis. My MRI was lesion rich enough, which along with my personal history, was adequate to secure a positive diagnosis (lucky me) without being stabbed in the spine.

Good luck and do not worry. Things are NEVER as bad you thing they will be!

Thank you so much for your kind words. I will definitely use your tips, it’s definitely worth a go. My daughter is Type 1 Diabetic and is so brave so I’m going to try and be as brave as her, she’s my inspiration. Im scared but happy things are happening quickly because at least I souldnt have to wait to long for answers. Thank you once again, I feel much more positive now. Kelly x

The Barts guide to LP is good and it seems asking for a ‘atraumatic spinal needle’ is key.

Hi Kel I had all of the above as part of my original investigations … MRI brain followed by admission where inspiration bet a delightful week waiting for full spine and repeat brain MRI with contrast , visual evoked potentials to test my eye and Brain connections and the last bit was the lumber puncture and I echo what others have said do not get up after it … I had to to avoid wetting myself and I had the LP headache !

I guess a last point don’t be surprised if they aren’t conclusive sometimes they aren’t … I has negative LP, positive VEP and lesions in my brain but not enough to be diagnostic …so left hospital with possible ms diagnosis and a leaflet for ms nurse … I have only just had that converted time it’s definitely Ms … almost 10yrs later …

good luck

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Same here, standard for me at least twice a year. A tip for anyone who tends to get cold feet, remember to wear warm socks. My longest time was 1 hour 10 minutes, my feet were freezing after.

Also, let them know if you can’t get up after, so they can help you get in your favourable position to get up again. Once I’ve been in for a good while, I actually find it very relaxing with the music and clunking but can never get up after lying flat for so long, after the MRI so always need help.

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Thank you so much for your kind comments. I can’t believe it can take so long to diagnose. Mollymoo, was you given any medication before actual diagnosise? Must have been horrendous being in limbo for so long. I will remember my thick socks, thank you for that tip hebeyellow, I hate having cold feet. Thanks for the link Whammel, I’ll take a look now. Kelly x

Hi Kel, yes I have meds to deal with symptoms … amytripyline for the sensory symptoms and I can adapt my dose depending on how I feel. Reason it took so long to diagnose was because I had my first blip and all the tests as I said then about 2 yrs later I was off again so back in scanner but didn’t show anything new so after a bit of a row where I demanded to either have it or not have as I couldn’t get insured to travel with possible ms we went for not a this stage and I just got on with life then as thankfully I am lucky as I am relatively unaffected .

Main reason I went back this year was I was referred to eye clinic as I had peripheral vision problems , they referred me to joint neuro and eye clinic who found my eye was worse than before and re scan showed new lesions . I don’t have dmds neuro thought at this point not necessary and as I said apart from a few issues if I overdo it I am good . I guess in 10 years I have learned to listen to my body , if I don’t I pay the price , so I reduced my hours at work slightly and whilst I do have balance issues, fatigue and minor left side weakness and bladder blips …my only losses that bother me are …I can’t ski anymore , I fall off my horse more easily and I had to swap my beloved pick up truck for an automatic ! So I really count myself as lucky … though I am not naive enough to think my journey will remain on this path I just live it while it does