MRI without contrast vs contrast

Just wondering if anyone knows much about the difference between contrast mri’s and those without contrast.

I had an MRI two weeks ago without contrast that showed 7 areas of white matter hyper intensity. After neurologist review she recommends I have a detailed contrast MRI to support the diagnosis of MS or a vascular issue (more unlikely due to me only being 23)

Is it possible for the hyperintensities to disappear when the contrast is given? I guess I’m hoping that the first scan was wrong and when I have the next one they find no lesions.

Interesting. I had my second MRI yesterday. I first had one in 2015 which showed numerous high signal areas throughout my brain, I had another yesterday due to a new symptom to see if there is any difference between the 2 scans. They were both without contrast so I will be interested to read your replies. Its awful waiting for results tho!

The contrast dye used is called Gadolinium. Have a look at

This tells you that a contrast dye is used to enhance the images. It will also show up current areas of inflammation to contrast with older lesions.

What happens is that before the MRI, a cannula is put into your arm. Midway through the scan you are pulled out of the machine, the contrast dye is slowly injected into the vein via the cannula, you are pushed back in the MRI machine for more scans, then it’s finished and they remove the cannula.

The hyperintensities seen on the first scan will still show up on the second scan, but with more detail so showing if there is demyelination going on.

I completely understand your hope that the new scan will show that it’s all been a big mistake. For your sake, I wish that was the case. But it’s probably not.

Living in that limbo of possibly having MS and possibly not, is horrible. You both have my sympathy.