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Prednisone alter spinal tap and blood test results?
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Prednisone alter spinal tap and blood test results?

I am curious if concurrent use of Prednisone alters the outcome of blood tests such as: ANA, ENA, complement, BUN, creatinine, protein levels, etc. and/or spinal tap tests on someone?

Can still have MS if the spinal tap and VEP come out negative but the MRI comes out positive for demyelinating disease?  Even if the specialist sees the negative spinal tap & VEP and thought unliky MS, wouldn't it be prudent for he/she to not just say "well, it's not my area of expertise" and dismiss it?  And shouldn't any patient with left-sided facial numbness/tingling also strong in limbs, burning, balance problems/vertigo, short term memory loss, stiff/crampy muscles, weakness esp. egs, hand tremor, 3x abnormal neuro exams,vision problems, overwhelming fatigue, slurring, heat intolerance, R-foot drop, abnormal reflexes and EEG & MRI's-several brain lesiions, etc. -- been referred to a neurologist or Someone...to follow-up?  rather than just be told, "Well.. in my opinion, MS is not likely" and then sent on their merry way?  I had to ask (before I was sent out the door) this supposed "specialist"  for a rheumatologist referral due to significant high ANA titer. The rheumatologist (at OSU) said, "Most of your problems look neurological in nature and set me up with a neurologist right then.  THen ordered lots of blood tests/x-rays.  And regardless wants to see me afterwards to follow-up...  Sorry, but I was very disappointed with my experience at the renowned CCF.  =(   IF you still post or answer this... thank you... hewie

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Avatar_n_tn
Yes steroid use may alter some blood tests such as an ANA, and some inflammatory markers in the spinal fluid. If your spinal fluid was analyzed with special tests looking for MS and it was normal then it make it less likely that you have MS. However the presence of lesions on your MRI are suspicious. However, you have stated that you have a high ANA level, and a disorder such as lupus could result in MRI brain lesions (which look similar to MS), and may have a normal spinal fluid analysis. I am sorry that you had a bad experience at our institution. It was not clear to me which department evaluated you. If you have not been seen at the Mellen Center (our MS and inflammatory brain disease specialty center) then I would recommend an appointment. The doctors there are excellent and help people with this question everyday. Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Prednisone is steroidal based if I'm not mistaken.  Are you taking it orally or by injection and how long have you been taking it and for what purpose if you don't mind my asking an enormous amount of questions in one sentence.

It sounds like you've asked all the right questions.  Not a doc, but I'd say a resounding "Yes" to all of them. At least the Rheumy was smart enough to reroute you back to a Neurologist.  Kind of a backa**wards way to do it, but I'm glad you got the tests.

Probably wouldn't hurt to get Lupus and a few other autoimmune diseases ruled out as well while your at it, but boy, those sx's sure sound like MS to me, especially with those lesions.

I'd be interested in knowing what these tests show if you wouldn't mind sharing them when they come in.  I have two diseases that mimick the sx's of MS and it's always been kind of a mystery to me that there may be a possibility that I may have it.  

I've had a Spinal Tap and MRI.  Haven't had a VEP, what's that?
Both ST and MRI came out negative for MS, but MRI showed extensive Cervical Stenosis (detriorating disk disease) so I get severe migraines and "aura" vision from that.

I hope you can finally get a diagnosis so they can start treating you in order to manage it and you can have some kind of relief.
Good luck.

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Avatar_n_tn
Ok...this will be kinda long to explain things more thoroughly.

7/29/03 - MRI of brain (shortened for space purposes) some rounded (which I've read is the way MS lesions can begin) punctate areas of high signal are noted in the periventricular white matter, greater on left vs right on T2 & Flair images w/largest measuring .8cm and the left frontallobe  high convexity. All else normal. IMPRESSION: Abnornal small punctate T2 signal areas in periventricular white matter which may represent small vessed ischemic disease (not likely) or demyelinating or dysmylinating disease. Clinical correlation is recommended.

7/30/03-MRI of cervical spine using T1 & T2 fast spin echo imaging.  Marked dengenerative change beginning at C4-C7. Lordosis (reversal of normal curve) Generalized disc desiccation and mile   posterior disc bulge at C4-C7. No encroachment on cervical cord however. NO lesions. Mild foraminal narrowing at C5-C6  bilaterally. Foraminal regions moderately narrowed at C6-C7 and C5-C6 and C4-C5.  IMPRESSION: Predominately pattern of extensive cervical spondylosis and significant foraminal narrowing suspected at C5-C7 which could produce symptoms of radiculopathy.

7/30/03- X-ray of  cervical spine -significant disk space narrowing see at C4-C7. Narrowing at multiple levels with hypertropic spurring noted. Reversal of cervical lordosis evident. IMPRESSION: Prominent cervical spondylosis C4-C7.

8/28/03 -The posterior dominant rythm is mixed wiht excess amount of beta activity esp. prominant in frontotemporal areas in a bitemporal distribution. IMPRESSION: moderately abnormal EEG due to slower activities  in bi=temporal frequently at times confined to left area.  These are nonspecific and would be indicative of a diffuse cerebral dysfunction w/greater involvement on left side.  Clinal correlation is advised.

11/06/03 -ENA panel while I was on prednison (& yes I said so) done by doc at CCF (leastly this was ordered) normal.  Then as said before, after I was told "this is not my area of expertise, I said what about the high ANA titer 1:640 speckled pattern? my neurologist where I live said I should probably see a rheumatolosit too.  Then doc at CCF said "well I can set you up with a rheumatogist" -- an appt. I did not keep because I was as I said, disappointed at my experience there and which then, my PCP set me up with a rheumy at OSU who I saw Dec. 17th.  He did a complete exam and asked what were my symptoms and main complaints and then said (with his apprentice there too) most of your symptoms are neurological tho your knee and foot (which have bursitis and numerous bumps on knee and swelling in both) are my territory and can treat those.  Then he proceeded to order blood work for autoimmune disease, kidney & liver functions, protein levels, CBC etc. and x-rays of both knees and foot.  And set me up w/neuro appt. Jan. 29th, and said he wanted to see me 2  weeks after that appt (wanted to wait to see results of it).

To let you  know too, I was in ER in March, April and May. Lots of blood tests taken.. most normal except slightly elevated liver things enzymes, blood platelets, B12 level and maybe couple more I cannot recall.  My neuro here (who being in short supply) said I should see a specialist who deals with demylinating disese (disease) but my FORMER PCP just brushed off all tests saying normal including ANA count so I got a new PCP!  but he did order bookoo tests including: Lyme, B12, Mono, folates, sed rate (which mine goes up & down & was 40 in April), hepatic function, albumin, SGOT, SGPT, ALKALINTE PHOSPHATES, BILIRUBIN TOATL AND DIRECT, ironlevel, TSH (my thyroid was taken out 9/99 - Hasimoto's disease, ANTI-DS DNA, & CLO test ---- all essentially neg.  (that's when he said see a specialist & rheumatologsit)

I now have (along w/former noted symptoms) permanetn numbess - feels like novacaine in chin and left lips and ache & hurt all over and increasing stiffness esp. in legs & very off balance - I literally bounce off walls. Very dry eyes (if did not say before) and just generally feel ill, very tired and have applied for SSDI as I find it very hard to function at home normally yet alone a full-time job.  I am single so only wage earner in home.  I wish often I just could crawl in a hole & die.  This has been going on at an increasing level for 18 mos - 2yrs. Tho I do have brief periods of some.... relief... seems like it's building up - never completely goes away.  And I am tired of being flipped off, doctors asking if I'm depressed -- DUH! - but was not  so until this carried on & on with no relief in site.

I raised 4 kids, great kids! 1 with honors, college graduate going for her masters in 2004, 1 married and still in college, son graduating in 2004 and going to OSU -, oldest was in army intelligence and had high security clearance.... I was always very active - hiked, swam, power-walked, biked, church activities, and was told I looked much younger than I am -49.  Now I'm told often I look tired (am!) and cannot muster up enough energy to shower or brush my teeth some days... And I've complained to doctors til I'm blue in the  face... I often wonder if any docs really care and see their patients as people rather than just a job anymore.

Well!  I've probably typed your eyes off! I don't know about any kind of medicines for this yet - still  waiting & waiting!. Thanks for your questions & since I have brain fog, will check your reply againg & respond again if anything else applicable. Shorter!  I promise...
hewie
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Avatar_n_tn
Not at all. I'm so sorry to hear that you've been in such pain and dibilitation.  Thank you for describing everything in detail.   It's really tragic, but by the time a lot of us figure out what's wrong, we can diagnose ourselves better than our docs can.  Your courage under fire and producing wonderful children who contribute to society is nothing short of a miracle.  Job well done.  Now it's time to take care of YOU.

I've been battling what I have since I was 36.  I am now 51 and looking at neck surgery sometime in the near future.  I understand the extreme weakness and excruciating pain and the absurd, even heinous abuse from some doctors over the years.  That hole you want to crawl into and die sometimes has one next to it with my name on it. I hate it when they blame depression as well.  Great! "Your depressed.  Take two bullets and call me in the morning." So your in pain, you can barely move cause your so exhausted and now your doctor just put you on the endangered specy list. AHHH!

Anyway, look, just a few suggestions: like this Nuero said, you might want to rule out Lupus and a few other autoimmune diseases like Fibromyalgia or MyalgicEncephalomylitis (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Disease).  There are tests for both of these. A good Rheumatologist would be able to diagnose Fibromyalgia and Nuero for ME.  

You need to get something for the pain and dibilitation you're experiencing if it's been going on for so long.  2 years?  Yep, that's a long time and don't blame yourself for any of this and don't let anyone blame you for the way you're feeling.  It's not your fault.  You didn't ask for this.  It wasn't on your "To Do" List.

I used to be just like you.  I used to mountain climb, hike, ride my bike everywhere, walk, work out, job, spend days in the mountains, anything that had anything to do with being outside.  All that changed 15 years ago, but no one believed FMS/ME (ME is a virus located in the hypothalmus of the brain. It's call HHV-6.  They found it just 3 years ago and there is a test you can take to see if you have it) existed and us old timers were horribly neglected.  If in fact, if you have one of these or Lupus, get a diagnosis ASAP.  If you catch it in time there are lots of ways to manage it now, tons of support groups and Pain clinics, etc. to help you get back on your feet, but trust me, it will have to be slow and easy.

Over six million people in America have these diseases and  those are only the ones that are documented.  It's epidemic in England and the rest of the world has large percentages as well.  I've done ongoing research for fifteen years.

I hope you get the proper care you need so you can start to get well again. Let me know if you'd like to get info on some support groups.  Even if you don't know what's wrong yet, might be good to talk to people who are going through the same thing and understand the dilema.  Take care.
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Avatar_n_tn
To the Neuro who responded:  Thank you

It was at CCF that I saw the MS specialist.  A "newbie" I'm sure as I did not see this particular doctor's name listed anywhere with the other Neurologist's (complete) list or with the other MS specialists.  I was a bit worried about that from the beginning, but decided to give it a try.  I probably should have spoke up more (tho I did at least ask, "what about the high ANA -shouldn't I see a rheumatologist?"  My daughter who was with me the last visit will attest to this and I had friends with me two of the other 3 visits.

I do remember I was just so tired that day and foggy in the brain and when I'm like that - I forget to do things I should.
I realize physicians are just as human with just as many problems as non-physician people and I'm sorry, I did not mean to put down the whole profession - was just angry and venting.

Again thank you, I hope too that I can get the appropriate "looking into my health problems" at OSU on the 29th. (want to say something else but just cannot find the correct words often anymore - this from a person who used to be considered highly intelligent =(   I feel like my health & brain is running out of time.

hewie



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Avatar_n_tn
To the 1st responder... Thank you... =)  Seems like we have a lot in common re: health issues.  DO you have a spelled out form for the FMS/ME?  Just curious - I will try to look up hypothalamus disorders and see what I can find.  Thanks for that info... I'm ready to try anything at this point - that is when I can find the energy which is very, very limited - I'm growing very tired from these last 2 posts.  My brain seems to tire too??

It might be good to have some support group names so that when I do have the energy, I could look them up..=)  At least I have some hope of finding out what's going on (& it can't be all in my head as I have the physical results of tests stated before to prove so. And I have never been a hypochondriac - in fact rarely saw a doctor before all this..)

Thanks again... hewie
PS - When is your neck surgery?  I pray that all goes well with that.  Funny but given my neck's problems, I will probably be looking at that in the future.... Aye, yi,yi....
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Avatar_n_tn
Okay Hewie, these may be helpful when you are feeling better, please really take a break after this though.  Don't mean to fry your brain with all this info.  Check it out later:

This is long one but it will get you to a good site on ME and take you into even more sites regarding it:

http://my.webmd.com/content/healthwise/36/8912.htm?lastselectedguid={5FE84E90-BC77-4056-A91C-9531713CA348}

You have to remember that the medical profession still has a hard time acknoledging FMS/ME, but the site above will help you and there is an association that came out with the information I gave you  and it's awesome. It supports people all over the world who suffer with FMS/ME and it's called "The National Fibromyalgia Partnership" Just log onto that and your on your way.  They send out a newsletter bi-annually. Prominent docotors and researchers dedicated to bringing these diseases to the public eye frequently write updates in this Newsletter.

There is also a support group I participate in which you can log onto: fms-***@****.  Good info, great people, great place to land when the world just doesn't get it.

Good luck to you in this NEW YEAR that you may find what you need to help your body get well.  REST, REST, REST!  :)
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Avatar_n_tn
AH neck surgery.  Multiple falls since I was five, head injuries, concussions, neck injuries, equilibrium problems. All increasing when I reached 36 years and over.  FMS/ME compromised my balance, which is part of the sx's.

Cerivcal Stenosis, ridiculous narrowing from C-3 through C-7.  Dry and brittle with enough spurs to start a Dude Ranch :). Brother is a doc and referred me to this Nuerosurgeon who I guess walks on water and my brother is setting me up for an appointment for a consultation.  Have already seen two Nuero's in the last year and they just want to stick me with steroids, drugs or give me a pump.  Nothing to attach any screws or plaits to cause the disks look like cornflakes.

Basically I'm looking at having a new type of surgeriy peformed that's still in it's infancy where both disk and carteledge between the disc are replaced and the spurs are shaved down. It's risky, but so is crossing the street.  I've spent the last 15 years watching the quality of my life drastically impeded and if there is a possibility I can get 30% of the energy I once had from this operation, I'm willing to take the risk.  What's life if you can't put all your cards on the table and make the devil nervous?
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Avatar_n_tn
AH neck surgery. Multiple falls since I was five, head injuries, concussions, neck injuries, equilibrium problems. All increasing when I reached 36 years and over. FMS/ME compromised my balance, which is part of the sx's.

Cerivcal Stenosis, ridiculous narrowing from C-3 through C-7. Dry and brittle with enough spurs to start a Dude Ranch :). Brother is a doc and referred me to this Nuerosurgeon who I guess walks on water and my brother is setting me up for an appointment for a consultation. Have already seen two Nuero's in the last year and they just want to stick me with steroids, drugs or give me a pump. Nothing to attach any screws or plaits to cause the disks look like cornflakes.

Basically I'm looking at having a new type of surgeriy peformed that's still in it's infancy where both disk and carteledge between the disc are replaced and the spurs are shaved down. It's risky, but so is crossing the street. I've spent the last 15 years watching the quality of my life drastically impeded and if there is a possibility I can get 30% of the energy I once had from this operation, I'm willing to take the risk. What's life if you can't put all your cards on the table and make the devil nervous?

Well... maybe this new kind of surgery is just what you need!  Maybe it's been providencial that you have not had surgery before this and this is just what will really help.  Any surgery on the spine esp. is risky.  That's good that your brother is a doctor!  Having that kind of support in getting referrals at leasts helps.  I had to change PCP and then alost scream to get some attention.

Just curious - what part of the country do you live in?  I live in central Ohio.  

Hope you have a good new year and if you get this surgery, things go much better than ever imagined, and you get some energy back and make the devil very.... nervous!  Sounds like your on the right road - my prayers go with you...=)

hewie
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much Hewie.  I live in California, but on the FMS chat board, there are people from Ohio I believe.  There's people from all over the U.S.

Am I talking to a male or a female?  FMS/CFIDS are diseases which strike mostly females and It's very rare that a male conracts it.  Just curious.  Your call.  It really doesn't matter.  You're in pain and are going through he** and it takes real courage to reach out the way you are doing.  I hope this New Year will bring that quiet little miracle God always saves when we least expect it.

May He bring you comfort and hope and Doctors that remember your name and why they chose to be doctors: to serve humanity.

Many blessings and God bless too.  Rain :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Ditto...=)

I'm a female... lost my 1st husband to suicide when our 1st child was 1 mo. old.  4 1/2 yrs. later went through a 2nd, very bad marriage which I ended - he was very mean to my son.  Had 2 daughters and one son later in that marriage tho and they have been my salvation and tho very difficult times,I raised them alone. They are really doting on me. My firstborn beautiful, kind-hearted son committed suicide also June '97 - he too had gotten in with the wrong crowd in the service - he would be 29 now.

California huh.... I've never been there - never much money to travel at all being a single parent wage earner. Maybe someday =)

Catch ya later...hewie =)
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Avatar_n_tn
So much tragedy. I'm glad they dot on you so much. Get back to me when you're ready dear.  Rain
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