Will a brain MRI show multiple sclerosis?

Widespread use of MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) has revolutionized the ability to diagnose multiple sclerosis. Disease-related changes in the brain or spinal cord are detected by MRI in more than 90% of people suspected of having MS.

What indicates possible multiple sclerosis during an MRI?

MS activity appears on an MRI scan as either bright or dark spots. Typical MS lesions tend to be oval or frame shaped. MS lesions can appear in both the brain’s white and gray matter. Healthcare professionals may use a chemical contrast dye called gadolinium to improve the brightness of MRI scan images.

Can an MRI detect inflammation in the brain?

MRI can detect a variety of conditions of the brain such as cysts, tumors, bleeding, swelling, developmental and structural abnormalities, infections, inflammatory conditions, or problems with the blood vessels. It can determine if a shunt is working and detect damage to the brain caused by an injury or a stroke.

What does white spots on brain MRI mean?

What Are White Spots? Spots on a brain MRI are caused by changes in water content and fluid movement that occur in brain tissue when the brain cells are inflamed or damaged. These lesions are more easily seen on T2 weighted images, a term that describes the frequency (speed) of the radio impulses used during your scan.

What can white spots on brain MRI mean?

Small strokes are the most common cause of white spots on a brain MRI. Small strokes are often caused by blockages of small blood vessels due to high blood pressure and/or diabetes. Large strokes are usually caused by heart disease or carotid artery disease.

Can a thoracic MRI show MS?

MRI uses strong magnetic and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of the brain and spinal cord. This scan can effectively show any scarring or damage to the myelin sheath associated with MS.

What are the MRI findings of multiple sclerosis (MS)?

The MRI findings of MS in the brain include areas of bright signal next to the ventricles as well as involvement of the corpus callosum. Intravenous contrast agents can help distinguish active from inactive lesions and help determine if drug therapy is working. Spinal cord lesions show up as areas of bright signal.

What causes white matter lesions on brain MRI?

White matter lesions observed on brain MRI are usually characteristic and occur in specific areas including the corpus callosum and pons. “However, in many cases, the white matter lesions as isolated observations are nonspecific” and could be due to MS or another cause, explained Drs Lange and Melisaratos.

How common are spinal cord lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Approximately 50–90% of patients with MS have spinal cord lesions,5,7,17and imaging of the spine has evolved to a more important part of the diagnostic workup.

What is the clinical course of multiple sclerosis (MS)?

The clinical course of MS is extremely variable. In about 85% of MS cases, the patient presents with a clinically isolated syndrome involving the optic nerve, brainstem, or spinal cord ( 1 ).