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A member asked:

Could i have multiple sclerosis even if my mri was normal? i have a lot of the symptoms (muscle spasm, weakness, tingling down my back and legs), but my mri didnt show anything. can an mri miss ms?

5 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pavle Repovic
Specializes in Neurology
This : This is very, very tricky. Yes, there are reported cases of mri-negative ms, but they are very rare, so it is paramount to rule out other conditions. It also helps if you get your MRI done on a 3 tesla magnet, which provides higher resolution and better detail than lower strength magnets.
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Dr. Djamchid Lotfi
Neurology 59 years experience
Unlikely!: The symptoms you are describing do not sound like symptoms of ms however it is possible to have an attack of ms such as optic neuritis and have a normal mri.
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Dr. Becky Parks
Neurology 35 years experience
Typically not: Mri is the most sensitive test available to aid in the diagnosis of ms. While there are rare cases of MRI negative ms, the vast, vast, vast majority of patients with ms have MRI abnormalities. Having said that, given your symptoms it would be important to know if the cervical and thoracic spinal cord were imaged. If brain and spinal cord imaging negative then not likely to be ms.
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Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 53 years experience
Complex: Usually MRI shows lesions if MS is answer, but on occasion need both images of brain and spinal cord. Sometimes, B-12 deficiency, Lyme disease, lupus, and other disorders can masquerade, so, please have these possibilities checked to be thorough. On occasion, a spinal tap may be very useful.
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Dr. Diane Minich
Family Medicine 38 years experience
Unlikey but: also possible so see a neurologist who specializes in ms to be evaluated
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Last updated Mar 3, 2022

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