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MRI results.. help please

I am 43 y.o female. I had a neck and brain MRI earlier this week and have the results. I do not take any medications other than Ambien to sleep.

I have made an appointment for a Neuro but have to wait three weeks to see him.
My primary ordered the MRI and when she had the results she said to bring the films to a specialist for their interpretation.

I have always had poor balance, but I always attributed that to my scoliosis, for which I had spinal fusion surgery 16 years ago, 2 harrington rods were placed t1 thru t11.

I have had pain in my neck/head for years, and finally found out that I could have an MRI, so we went for it.
Lately I have had frequent dizzy spells, more issues with my balance being off and more headaches.

Most of these issues I have thought pertained to the neck problems from the spinal fusion.

Please tell me what you think:
Clinical Indications: Headaches, dizziness and imbalance
MRI of the brain was performed on a 3.0 Tesla Ultra High Field Wide Bore Verio MRI with multiple multiplanar pulse sequences obtained prior to and following the intravenous contrast administration of 7 cc Gadavist.

The ventricular system is normal in size and position. Multiple foci of elevated signal intensity are noted within the subcortical white matter. No intratentorial or corpus callosal involvement is identified. No focal mass, mass effect or extraaxial collecitons are identified. No abnormal enhancement is present. The orbits and paranasal sinuses are within their normal limits.

Mild left mastoid air cell inflammatory changes are identified.

Along the left aspect of the frontal soft tissues there is a focus of susceptibility artifact.

Multiple foci of increased signal  intensity  within the subcortical white matter on Flair and T2 weighted images represents a nonspecific finding. Differential diagnosis includes demyelinating, infectious/inflammatory and ischemic processes.

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Avatar universal
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

There are multiple causes for so called plaques (i.e., the high signal intensities) in the brain. Most often, these are due to what is called "chronic small vessel disease", literally meaning diseased small vessels that supply blood flow to the brain. This is not an uncommon process in the brain and increases with age. This is not a disease in and of itself but rather is a reflection of unhealthy blood vessels, damaged by years of plaque build-up. This is most often due to a combination of several factors including the following: high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol. If these factors are well controlled, the damage to the brain can be stabilized and further damage prevented.

Other causes of plaques in the brain can be migraine. People with migraine often have plaques on their MRI that are of unclear cause or significance.

Other causes of plaques on MRI can usually be distinguished based on history and symptoms, such as symptoms of neurologic deficit (for example arm weakness or difficulty walking etc). These can also be distinguished based on the MRI appearance. These include, but are not limited to, multiple sclerosis, other demyelinating disease, and inflammatory processes such as vasculitis.

The different causes can be determined to some extent by interpretation of various sequences of the MRI.

It is difficult to say if your symptoms are related to the MRI findings without additional information and the ability to view the images and examine you. I suggest you follow up with your primary physician and subsequently with a neurologist to review your images along with a focused history and physical.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.

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