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Posted by CCF Neuro MD on July 13, 1997 at 19:32:18:
In Reply to: Re: MRI Results Show Normal despite symptoms posted by Chris on July 11, 1997 at 20:05:45:
: : I need to know whether an MRI is conclusive. Is it possible for disease states to exist and the MRI to show normal i.e. epilepsy or tumor?
Speaking as a mother here.. My son has all symptoms including growth hormone hypersecretion, of a pituitary tumor. His uncle had the same symptoms and died for other reasons. They found on autopsy that he had had several pituitary microadenomas. The radiologists that did my son's MRI said he had a large pituitary tumor and then we sent the films to a pediatric neurosurgeon. They also said he had a pituitary tumor. The follow up MRI didn't show any tumor at all.... go figure?????? He still has symptoms of a pituitary tumor. In other words..... the MRI is as good as those who interpret them. The MRI is still new to most radiologists.. I believe they'll be alot of errors until it becomes as second nature as the plain xray films. I believe there are very few tests that are 100%. Sometimes it helps to repeat the same test to see if there's any difference in the interval.
Dear Linda and Chris:
Let me admit that I am not an expert at MRI interpretation or technique. I can also state that the MRI is a tool in evolution, and that the discipline of radiology is still in the process of learning to exploit its fullest potential as a diagnostic tool. We know, however, that it is an extremely powerful tool which allows us to see and acquire date in exquisite detail that was unimaginable 15 years back. As with anyhing else, individual radiologists may differ in competence, and this may affect the utility of this very valuable tool in their hands. A high quality contrast MRI is the most sensitive test there has ever been for detecting brain and pituitary tumors. If appropriately used, MRI can detect the causative lesion in focal epilepsies in a large number, even a majority of cases.
In case you or any members of your family have any concerns regarding MRI interpretation, the department of neuroradiology at the Cleveland Clinic has a very active faculty renowned for their pioneering work in MRI physics, technique and interpretation. Dr. Paul Ruggieri specializes in MRI as applicable to the diagnosis of epilepsy, while Dr. Michael Modic specializes in spine MRI.
This information is provided for general medical educational purposes only. Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options of your specific medical condition.
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