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How to Make Sense of Your MRI

June 20, 2017

Deciphering the data from your MRI report is a challenge. It’s written in a language that only your neurologist can decipher, leaving you clueless on what everything means. As a multiple sclerosis (MS) patient, you’ll most likely be getting MRI’s for a long time, so it doesn’t hurt to know a few basics of what the data on your MRI report means.

MRI of the Brain With and Without Contrast

Usually your first MRI is going to be of your brain. If the doctors don’t think it’s MS, they won’t bother doing the spine. If they end up finding lesions in the brain, then they will get an MRI of your spine. It’s a good idea to get an MRI with and without the contrast. What this means is that contrast provides a better visual view for the technicians to see certain things. It could be used to see which lesions were more active, or recent. It could also be used to see a tumor or highlight blood vessels. It all depends on what brought you in for the MRI in the first place.

TECHNIQUE: Multiplanar MRI was performed of the brain, including diffusion weighted sequences. Images also were obtained following IV administration of 12 ml of magnevist.

This is an example of what was on a patient’s MRI when she went for testing. This essentially tells the patient what they did with the MRI and that they used a contrast agent called magnevist. The dye the doctor uses can burn during this process. A tip that this patient recommends is to make sure that the doctors dry the alcohol they use on the swab to clean the injection site because it can possible get into your veins. If you have small veins, let the doctors know ahead of time so they don’t mangle you.