Lesions on the Spine
by fours04, Jul 08, 2009
My mother had a chest x-ray done at the beginning of the year, the technician noticed a spinal lesion and sent a report to her primary care doctor. The original thought was she had cancer, every thing from bone to lung that had metastasize to her bones. All test came back negative, thank God, now the doctor has scheduled her for her a bone biopsy for the 21st of this month. What I am curious about is what is he looking for? I am not getting a clear picture on what causes the lesions, and what it could be from. Every time I search for infomation it brings me to the MS diagnostic pages, could this be MS? Please advise, my family has had the run of emotions from anxiety of a cancer diagnosis to relief of no cancer. And now we are back at worry wondering what it is.
Related Discussions
Member Comments (3)
by essdipity, Jul 08, 2009
Hello and welcome.

I can see why you're concerned about your mother's report, and hope I can be at least a bit reassuring.

A lesion, medically speaking, is any kind of abnormality. On a chest xray, it's something that shouldn't be there, but other than that it is extremely non-specific. It could have absolutely no significance.

MS lesions are scars in the white matter of the brain or spinal cord where the myelin has been destroyed by an autoimmune process. They are recognized and adequately identified only by MRI, among the imaging processes. If, based on neurological exam and other symptoms, MS is suspected, then an MRI is the next logical step.

May I ask what if any symptoms your mother had? Was the chest xray routine, and if not, why was it ordered?

Our members here are both kind and knowledgeable, and will do their best to help.

by biowham, Jul 08, 2009
If it was a chest x-ray that identified it, it was likely in the bone, rather than in the cord...did anyone specifically mention vertebrae? That's why they had the concern that something had metastasized to her bone--cancers of the lung, being adjacent to those vertebrae, tend to do that. Sounds like she's in the clear on that. If she's got something that showed up on x-ray in her bony spine, it could be a number of completely benign things. I've got a huge black spot on one of my vertebrae from an old injury. It's just bony tissue scarring, nothing more...but it's still called a "lesion."

They're doing a bone biopsy of the vertebra where they saw the lesion to look directly at the cells in the tissue to see if any of them show the abnormal signs of cancerous growth or of they indicate some other process that requires treatment. But this would not be related to MS in any way.

Whatever they saw on the x-ray, it's not a lesion related to the cord lesions of MS because x-ray, as Ess says, cannot pick that up. The reason you keep getting that as a hit is because of the word "lesion," which is really too general. Try "vertebral lesion" or something like that...or better yet, just wait for the biopsy results.

My best to your mother.

by fours04, Jul 08, 2009
She had the chest x-ray done because about five years ago she had a lung infection. At that time the doctors first diagnosis was cancer, but then after they did a pet scan and a thoracentesis they realized it was a mass in her lungs that was non-cancerous. When she started having problems breathing around Christmas, and not being able to stand with out feeling light headed for more than five minutes, that when the doctor ordered the x-ray to see if maybe the mass was returning.

Right now her main symptons are still the breathing problems, as she describes it "can't get a good breathe". She still cannot stand or do any prolonged activity with out feeling either lightheaded or short of breathe. And it does not have to be anything to strenuous, it can be just cooking or folding clothes. Other than that she seems to be in relatively good health for a 64 year old. She has medically controlled hypertension, and was diagnosed with Hep C after her infection 5 years ago.