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Asking about MRI's

by Jane

Does anyone know what it means when an MRI report starts referring to severe this and severe that? I have had MS 36 years, and I'd like a better understanding. My symptoms aren't all that bad. Thanks.

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Mar 16, 2009
From my bit of research
by: Akrista

Good question Jane,
What I found after doing a bit of researching is that the neurologist is looking for evidence of new disease activity for one. They are also looking for signs of more chronic damage (or possibly more severe in your case) to the axons.

The axons are the parts of nerves that carry the signals. Another thing they look for is the total amount of damage or lesion load. This could be another thing that is referred to as severe (severe lesion load).

With all that said, the amount and type of disability you have, has more to do with the exact placement of lesions. Each person is so unique in this aspect.

One person can have one lesion and be totally disabled, while another can have several with very little disability.

It's a good idea to have your neurologist review the MRI results with you each time so that you know what he knows. And you can ask questions then.

Hope that helps and if anyone else has more or better information, by all means, add what you know.

Mar 16, 2009
Thanks for Looking
by: Jane D.

Hi, Akrista--I appreciate the fact you looked into this. I have found a few good sources online too which start pretty simple and tell quite a lot about MRI interpretation. Unfortunately, I just changed neuros and my old one only wanted to talk about her agenda and summed my MRI up in three words, "No new lesions." I had to somehow lay out 36 years with MS for my new neuro so we didn't get to the MRI I had in October, 2008.

Over the years I was able to legally snag my original MRI from the hospital and keep it in my possession as a baseline. If anyone else can do that, it sure doesn't hurt to start there, and I guess many hospitals are just throwing them away these days since they've gone to CD's which they give away here if you ask.

The report with my latest MRI spoke of "severe confluent periventricular white matter plaques compatible with MS. Severe callosal-septal irregularity is present." It makes me laugh every time I read there were small plaques involving the right aspect of pons and left middle cerebellar peduncle. Shoot, I didn't even know I *had* a peduncle! lol My generalized atrophy is moderate to severe for my age (DUH!)

Well, that's my latest MRI and I'm learning a tiddly tad more about what it means every few days. Gosh but I love this computer that lets me investigate anything anytime!

I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone better over time. I have advertised this site to the many MS folks I know on AOL. Cheers! Jane

Mar 19, 2009
Peduncle?? LOL!
by: Akrista

Jane that is so hilarious! I've never heard of a "peduncle" either. I guess as long as the doctor knows what it is, we're "safe". LOL!

Apr 05, 2009
by: Jane D.

It turns out it's pretty easy. Here's the definition from a Medical Dictionary:

Etymology: L, pes, foot
a stemlike connecting part, such as the pineal peduncle or a peduncle graft. peduncular, pedunculate, adj.
Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

a stemlike connecting part, especially: (1) a collection of nerve fibers coursing between different regions in the central nervous system, or (2) the stalk by which a nonsessile tumor is attached to normal tissue.

cerebellar p's:
three pairs of thick, white fiber trunks that arise from the midbrain, pons and medulla and pass into the cerebellum.

cerebral peduncle:
the ventral half of the midbrain, divisible into a dorsal part (tegmentum) and a ventral part (crus cerebri), which are separated by the substantia nigra.

It looks like it's important too--guess I might have to study it more.


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