Brain MRI w/Contrast

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Brain MRI w/Contrast

Postby LoveActually » Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:47 pm

I'm going today, in about an hour and a half and was just hoping to get some last minute advice and a few questions answered. With contrast, do I get a shot or am I hooked up to an IV and given whatever it is that way?

I have a permanent retainer, anyone have an MRI with metal in their mouth?

Other then that, I think I'm ready. Nervous, but ready. Oh, how long until I hear something from my Doc? Typically.

Thank you.
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Postby lyndacarol » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:12 pm

To answer your questions about MRI... I, too, have a permanent retainer behind my lower teeth. The technicians have told me at each MRI that it makes no problems in getting the image.

I am put into the "tunnel" for the first part of the procedure; then, I am rolled out again for the technicians to inject the contrast material, gadolinium, into my arm. Then I am rolled back in again for more pictures. (BTW, I have read that gadolinium is a heavy metal. Some people have developed a serious condition because of it. If you are getting the contrast material, drink plenty of water after the procedure in order to flush the Gd out of the kidneys.)

As I recall, I got the results each time in the neurologist's office about one or two weeks later (Except the time I initially got the diagnosis of MS, then I got the results from an office nurse who told me over the phone, "You have MS." I am still HOT about how that was handled -- and that was 17 years ago!). However, with the MRI that was done at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, I got the results the next day!
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Postby CureOrBust » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:46 pm

I can pick up the images and a CD containing the digital images the next day. In the "Sealed" container addressed to the referring doctor are summary notes from the radiologist/neurologist reviewing the images.

I don't have a retainer, but use to have amalgam have fillings (mercury/metal). I think the main concern is with magnetic materials (mainly iron/steel) more so than with any metal (unless its a plate that covers the image).
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Postby catfreak » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:19 am

They send my straight to the Neuro online and he looks at them before he see's me on the same day.

I get my T3 MRI with contrast, Tysabri Infusion and see the Doc for results on the 22nd of this month.

They will start the IV for contrast and leave it in for the Tysabri infusion. First time I have done it this way. Then after the TY I will see my Doc for results.

I only have fillings no other metal in my mouth.

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Postby Needled » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:33 am

lynda said:
(Except the time I initially got the diagnosis of MS, then I got the results from an office nurse who told me over the phone, "You have MS." I am still HOT about how that was handled -- and that was 17 years ago!).

OMG, I thought I was the only one who had that happen. In my case, I found out when the solumedrol nurse called to set up the home appointment, and she said "How long have you had MS?" WHAT?????????? 8O 8O 8O I'll never forgive or forget that, either. :evil: :evil: :evil:

Sorry that's off-topic, but I just had to get that in there!

I haven't had an MRI in almost two years, but it took a couple days to get the reports last time because it was just a follow-up MRI -- nothing was really going on.
Hope everything goes/went OK, LA.
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Postby LoveActually » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:04 am

Thanks for the info everyone. It pretty much went the way lyndacarol described. I asked how long until I'll hear something and he said a week. I'm thinking about calling up the Imaging Center that I had it done at and requesting copies of my scans. I can do that, right?

Either way these tests go, I'm switching doctors so I would like to have every important scan/test and whatever else in my possession. The guy who did my scans was way more interested in my symptoms then my doctor was. I have this feeling that they know so I was trying to read him but I got nothin'!

I can't believe you guys were told over the phone. That's terrible. So sorry that happened to you guys.
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Postby Wendigo » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:30 am

I have a huge manilla envelope with "patient copies" of my MRI scans of brain and cervical spine with and without gadolinium as well as a copy of the radiologist's report. I had mine done at an "imaging center" and those copies were "free" to me. I was told they would be $5 a "sheet" to purchase if lost and there are probably 30-50 sheets in the envelope.

If ordered "stat" the radiologist will read x-rays or scans, dictate a report, and preliminary findings can get to the doctor/neurologist in an hour. I typed radiology for many years, for hospitals.
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Postby LoveActually » Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:29 pm

Got the scans. I have no idea what I'm looking at of course but regardless, I got them. Little freaky seeing my brain...on my computer...in my kitchen. LOL! They said the scans have been read by the radiologist so now I wait on the Doc.

I'll get hooked up for my EEG tomorrow. 72hrs. I'm wondering if I'll have to have them on all weekend or if they'll take them off on Friday. If so, that's really gonna be a mood killer for my daughter's 2nd birthday. We'll see.
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Postby LoveActually » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:25 am

This question seems awfully silly but what exactly is in a Radiologist Report? Anything that I could understand or is it just good to get a copy for future doctor's to review?

I tried requesting that from the imaging center but they said it was already faxed to my Doc and I can get a copy from there.
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Postby Sharon » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:35 am

The radiologist report is a text summary of what was found on the scan. Normally the radiologist will not give you the report - the neurologist is to go over the report with you. Glad to hear you are starting to keep copies of your own records. I assure you, they will come in handy at sometime in the future.

Good Luck!
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Postby LoveActually » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:26 am

Thank you Sharon.
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Postby LoveActually » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:25 am

I'm just going to keep updating/asking through this thread. Hope that's alright.

Still waiting on my MRI results from my neurologist. The report was there on Tuesday so I think I'll give them a call today to see when they can let me know something.

For those of you who have been diagnosed, when they said "You have MS", what were some of the questions you asked following that statement? Or, questions you wish you would've asked? I'm hoping I won't hear that but I'm prepared for it. Other then being prepared, I have no idea what to do or ask next.

Regarding the MRI, I know that contrast is suppose to make the images more clear. Do they also make them more white or light? Looking at my scans, I can see the white spots much better in the "Post Contrast" images. I'm wondering if it's the "juice" or if there's really something there.
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Postby scorpion » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:51 am

Please keep us posted!!!
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Postby patientx » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:27 pm

Questions I asked when my neuro told me:

"Are you sure you have my chart, there?"

"Well, then, do you know any GOOD neurologists?"


But seriously, depending on what you're told in your next appointment, you might want to try to make an appointment relatively soon after, not the normal 6 months. This way, you can go home, digest what you're told, do some research, and come back with a list of questions. It's tough to prepare for the unknown, right now.

To answer your question about the contrast. It's not really used to make the MRI images clearer. The contrast agent is used to distinguish older lesions from those due to active inflammation. When active inflammation is happening, immune cells migrate from the bloodstream into the brain and spinal cord. The gadolinium that is used as contrast will tag these cells, so if they are migrating into the brain, the lesions will show brighter on the MRI.

As an aside, you might want to ask your neuro, if he/she has actually read the MRI films, or just relying on the report. I also felt a little better when the neurologists read the films, though I don't have any good reason for this.
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Postby LoveActually » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:15 pm

Thank you patientx.

"Well, then, do you know any GOOD neurologists?"


I agree 100% If I didn't have to jump through hoops to get another referral through this military insurance then I would be seeing someone else already. And if I had the patience.

I must of read the reason for contrast wrong somewhere but thanks for clearing that up. And thank you for the other great advice.

Do you (or anyone else) think my neuro's office will give me a copy of the radiologist report before I sit down and speak with the neuro? She offers no compassion or sensitivity so there's no real benefit from hearing it from her, good or bad.
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