Author Topic: Can a MRI 'without' contrast pick up a brain tumor? AN or any other type?  (Read 13988 times)

donnalynn

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Hi all,
 Hubby is scheduled for an MRI ( without contrast) this week. We requested with contrast but the radiologist deemed it not necessary... even though our fam Dr. specifically did request this test.
 Here in Alberta a radiologist can make that call, to save money... grrrrrr...
 Because of his lung cancer diagnosis last year I felt that this was not alot to ask... tomorrow I plan to go to war and try to get this MRA done.... wish me luck!!!
Hubby has had terrible 'daily' headaches and so we are a bit concerned.
 I just hate having to fight the medical system!!!!
 So please do answer me.... can a reg. MRI pick up an AN? or any other brain tumor without contrast?... not that we think he has one? ???
Thanks!
 Donnalynn
3cm AN, Aneurysm in the MCA
Middle Fossa Jan/08
Right side complete hearing loss. Im still healing, and have so much to be thankful for!
Had brilliant and caring surgeons in LA Dr. Friedman, Dr. Schwartz.
Life is precious, and things do get better!
With God all things are possible

CHD63

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Hi Donnalynn .....

Sure hate it that another MRI is in the works soon.

I can only tell you what my neurosurgeon told me about my two MRIs 13 months apart ..... first one without contrast, second one 13 months later with contrast.  The first one was read as "normal."  Second one plainly shows the all too familiar white blob of my 2+cm AN.  When I went for my evaluation appointment with the neurosurgeon, I took both MRIs with me and asked why it had not been picked up on the first one.  He studied and studied the first one and made the remark, "There should be at least a shadow showing even without contrast but I can see no evidence."  He went on to say he thought I had a rare rapidly growing type and that it simply either was not there or very tiny on the first MRI.  We all know that with contrast is the only definitive way to diagnose an AN.  My question is:  if a doctor is suspecting a possible tumor when ordering an MRI and if a tumor cannot be seen without contrast, why do it at all unless you use contrast?

I am just going to pray that the doctor does not feel there is a tumor and therefore none will be found.  Perhaps another answer to his headaches will be seen and it will be worthwhile.

My best thoughts and prayers.  Clarice
Right MVD for trigeminal neuralgia, 1994, Pittsburgh, PA
Left retrosigmoid 2.6 cm AN removal, February, 2008, Duke U
Tumor regrew to 1.3 cm in February, 2011
Translab AN removal, May, 2011 at HEI, Friedman & Schwartz
Oticon Ponto Pro abutment implant at same time; processor added August, 2011

Syl

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Donnalynn:

Each time I get and MRI done, it takes about 20 mins or so. Most of those 20 mins are spent in the tube without contrast. It's usually toward the end that the contrast is injected, but there is always contrast.

Syl
1.5cm AN rt side; Retrosig June 16, 2008; preserved facial and hearing nerves;
FINALLY FREE OF CHRONIC HEADACHES 4.5 years post-op!!!!!!!
Drs. Kato, Blumenfeld, and Cheung.

Larry

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Hi Donnalynn

Always get contrast unless there is some alergy issue. Please note that there is a small risk of the contrast being injected incorrectly and poisoning the body (it has happenned. The damage to the body is usually not a nice place to go.

Quite often, an AN wouldn't show up without contrast, especially small ones.

laz
2.0cm AN removed Nov 2002.
Dr Chang St Vincents, Sydney
Australia. Regrowth discovered
Nov 2005. Was in watch and wait mode until Dec 2008 now must do something.
Chronologer of the PBW
http://www.frappr.com/laz

tenai98

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I dont know about other brain tumors but when my second MRI was done it was without contrast. I was a wee bit upset at that. But when I looked at the cd, I could see the tumor as I knew where it was and the shape of it...I guess once it is known to be there, it is easy to find without contrast...
Good Luck to hubby DonnaLynn, lets hope for the best
JO
14mmX11mmX11mm left ear
TRANSLAB 04/07/09 2cms at time of surgery
Dr. Benoit and Schramm, Ottawa Civic Campus
SSD ,some facial numbness
Baha surgery sept 22/09
residual tumor 13mmX7mmX8mm

Mickey

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Mine was first diognosed without contrast. After that I was advised to get them done with contrast for a more accurate picture year to year. Mickey

HeadCase2

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Hello Donnalyn,
  Most of my reading has been about AN, so I can't really answer about how other brain tumor types look on an MRI with or without contrast.  Except that if a tumor is large enough to begin shifting the brain structures around to accomodate it, that would be visable on the MRI.  I hope your hubby's report reads "unremarkable".
Regards,
  Rob
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 09:17:38 am by HeadCase2 »
1.5 X 1.0 cm AN- left side
Retrosigmoid 2/9/06
Duke Univ. Hospital

GrogMeister of the PBW

donnalynn

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Thanks guys!
 You are the best!
Well I did go into 'fight mode' this am, to have them change the order back to the first DR.' order which was for an MRA with contrast. Given hubby's Lung Ca diagnosis only a year ago the nurse thought this was a 'no brainer'... ( pun intended! :) )They said they will 'see what they can do"?? and to call back in two days.... grrrrr. It will be left up to the discretion of he radiologist?. At least I wasn't told no, so maybe this will work out favorably. The case is money of course, and the health system here is cutting things way back again....
Thanks for all your advise on this...
I know for myself my AN didnot show up on the MRI either, so I wonder what else 'would not show up'????? Not that I think Hubby has a brain tumor???( lets hope not), but we need answers about these terrible headaches that he has daily.
 Thanks again!
 Donnalynn
3cm AN, Aneurysm in the MCA
Middle Fossa Jan/08
Right side complete hearing loss. Im still healing, and have so much to be thankful for!
Had brilliant and caring surgeons in LA Dr. Friedman, Dr. Schwartz.
Life is precious, and things do get better!
With God all things are possible

bell

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donnalynn
I had 2 MRI'S. The first MRI (2005) without contrast supposedly showed normal.  The 2nd (2008) with contrast showed 1.3cm AN.  When consulatation with Dr. at the Mayo clinic, he informed me he could see my tumor (2005) as a small speck, and it grew fast.  So the million dollar question is if it would have been with contrast would it have shown up  better and I could have saved hearing and facial paralysis.  Or was it an error on the radiologist?
I would have with contrast! 
Good luck,  Bell

donnalynn

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Well good news... my intentional daily calls, my re-hearsing over and over Jim's history and not letting this go( although in a kind but persistent way :))... I finally got an answer that Jim will have n MRA with constrast on Sunday!!! They moved this up to the top of the heap as well!!!
 I pray that it is unremarkable,but I'm happy that he's getting the right test!
 Donnalynn
3cm AN, Aneurysm in the MCA
Middle Fossa Jan/08
Right side complete hearing loss. Im still healing, and have so much to be thankful for!
Had brilliant and caring surgeons in LA Dr. Friedman, Dr. Schwartz.
Life is precious, and things do get better!
With God all things are possible

Jim Scott

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Donnalynn ~

Congratulations!  I'm pleased to learn that your tenaciousness prevailed and that your Jim will have his MRA on Sunday.  Like you, I hope it is unremarkable and will pray for that outcome.

Jim
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

Larry

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Donnalynn,

Good on ya for sticking to your guns. Fingers crossed on a positive outcome.


Laz
2.0cm AN removed Nov 2002.
Dr Chang St Vincents, Sydney
Australia. Regrowth discovered
Nov 2005. Was in watch and wait mode until Dec 2008 now must do something.
Chronologer of the PBW
http://www.frappr.com/laz

donnalynn

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Thank-you Jim and Larry,
prayers, and  crossed fingers.... are all good and very much appreciated!!
DL
3cm AN, Aneurysm in the MCA
Middle Fossa Jan/08
Right side complete hearing loss. Im still healing, and have so much to be thankful for!
Had brilliant and caring surgeons in LA Dr. Friedman, Dr. Schwartz.
Life is precious, and things do get better!
With God all things are possible

 


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