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Auburn, WA
A 33-year-old female asked:

spinal cord lesion on t3/4, negative brain mri, positive for oligoclonal banding. neurologist says ms. can this be with negative brain mri?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Walter Husar
Neurology 33 years experience
Possibly: There are variants of multiple sclerosis that preferentially involve the white matter of the spinal cord. In order to make a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, one needs to demonstrate dissemination in both time and space. In your case, i would much more information to make a diagnosis. You have a lesion in the spinal cord ; have the presence of oligoclonal bands in the CSF that is suggestive of ms.
Dr. Olav Jaren
Neurology 19 years experience
Answer to your Q: Yes, the diagnosis of MS can be made with a normal brain MRI, but this is not common. Unfortunately we do not have better tests for this condition than what you have had. The diagnosis would be solid with an MRI showing asymptomatic brain lesions, it is a little less solid this way. Transverse myelitis is another possible cause. This does not always result in the diagnosis of MS.
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Can occur: Although less common, isolated spinal cord involvement can be seen in absence of demonstrable brain lesions. But make certain that you do no have NMO presenting atypically, and an anti-aquaporin blood test can help confirm diagnosis.
Dr. Ramin AmirNovin
Neurosurgery 21 years experience
I concur
Jan 15, 2015

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