To wonder if mri scans can be wrong?

(23 Posts)
Hedgehog80 Mon 09-May-16 20:45:30

Had some issues over the past year or so, persistent feeling of pressure/pain in a very specific place in my head I can pinpoint exactly and can feel something there almost like there's something pushing to get out-a feeling of painful pressure. Eye on that side also v watery a lot of the time.

I've had two mri scans and both came back normal. They were without contrast. I'm worried though as the pain is so specific and I can feel there's something there?

Nothing in particular brings it on it comes and goes but it's bothering me a lot as both DM and DGM had brain haemorrhages in 2014 (DGM passed away) and my aunts has an aneurysm thats being monitored.

Could the mri be wrong? I feel that it was but am I bu to think this
WIBU to ask for another with contrast?

VoldysGoneMouldy Mon 09-May-16 20:49:25

You're not U to be concerned given the history. I'm sorry for your losses, and your pain.

That said, I don't know whether you can just request another MRI, especially if you've already had two.

Have you got a neurologist on your case? Have you been given a suggested diagnosis? Certain types of migraine can present in this way, along with other conditions.

Hedgehog80 Mon 09-May-16 20:52:01

I've always had migraines and they are hemiplegic and really severe. This is just a feeling mostly of pressure and sometimes pain so not migraine related as far as I am tell

I was discharged from neurology after second clear mri but I think I should have had one with dye? Something's not right in there I can feel something all the time. Dh said stress probably but why such a small and precise place ? Surely stress wouldn't manifest like that. It happens when I'm not stressed too

Maisy313 Mon 09-May-16 21:08:26

I'm not sure if this is helpful but my newborn son was incorrectly diagnosed with a severe brain bleed when he was completely fine, so MRI's can definitely be wrong, but this was obviously a reversed situation. You can get private MRI's I believe if that's an option?

Hedgehog80 Mon 09-May-16 21:15:13

I will look into private scans as I really dont want to be a burden to the nhs when Ive had two already...it's just I don't think I will relax till I've had a contrast one and they've looked at everything

Glad your ds was ok maisy that must have been a terrifying time

Clandestino Mon 09-May-16 21:16:24

MRIs aren't wrong. Who can be wrong though is the person who's interpreting them so if you want to be sure, ask for another opinion.
The pain you are describing could well be migraines or you are simply overly sensitive because you expect it to be there. It could also be something different so my advice would be taking the scans to a different consultant and have them looked at by someone else.
Good luc.

Hedgehog80 Mon 09-May-16 21:22:00

I've had migraines since I was 8-they follow the same pattern, disturbed vision on one side, pins and needles that side then numbness and sometime paralysis then severe headache and sometimes vomiting. They re awful. This is nothing in comparison but always there-the pressure mostly and the pain although unpleasant it's not on the same level as a migraine.

I really don't think it's migraine related as its only been the last year or so which ties in with thyroid problem developing but again. It sure could be related. I will ask GP to help me get scans looked at again as the feeling of something in my skull is just horrible

Parietal Mon 09-May-16 21:23:47

nerve pain is a funny thing - the pain can be caused by something wrong in one place but feel like it is coming from a different place. So for example, a trapped nerve at one place might feel like pain somewhere else.

you might be able to get a second opinion on the existing MRI scans without having to get a new scan.

joangray38 Mon 09-May-16 21:24:55

I had a mri scan misread by the consultant - before paying for a private scan I would ask for someone else to look at it and make clear your history/ concerns . My private scan cost £2000 but that was a body scan. I was quoted £500 to £2500 for one depending on area of body. Could your pain be symptomatic ? It must be so stressful knowing your family medical history that you have convinced yourself you have it to. I really hope you get it sorted. flowers

Purplepicnic Mon 09-May-16 21:26:23

They could be wrong but I doubt two would be wrong. Was it different consultants looking at them?

summerdreams Mon 09-May-16 21:31:21

So sorry your going through this. My neurological condition does not show up on mri only through contast die and also through a lumber puncture I have idiopathic intercranial hypertension and also stenosis of some veins forget which one. From what I understand this is not common though. Maybe ask for what other investigations they would be willing to give ?

Godstopper Mon 09-May-16 21:33:14

I think (someone correct me if wrong) that a CT scan may be better for showing up blood vessel abnormalities which, given your history, might be a type of scan that you could request if still concerned? It is possible to have both: I did for the same condition, and now just have regular MRI's.

Beepbopboop Mon 09-May-16 21:38:36

It is not possible to feel pain in your brain, as there are no pain receptors. But you can in the outside part - meninges and scalp. The pain you are getting is probably being transferred from somewhere else. But you can't actually feel pain inside your head.

Maisy313 Mon 09-May-16 21:40:16

Thank you! The only thing I was thinking about going private is it might be quicker if you are very anxious... I would request a die scan, hopefully with family history they will meet your request. Sorry you are going through this, it is important to listen to your instincts so don't doubt your intuition.

Hedgehog80 Mon 09-May-16 21:57:45

It does feel about an inch into my skull- but if you can't feel pain in your head then it must be nerve pain from somewhere else ? It feels like pressure and pushing and pain. I can't work out what it could be other than nerves/blood vessels ?

Dsis db and aunt all had contrast ct when they were checked- I had one mri but was them told I needed another with contrast then on the day they said actually didn't need contrast and apparently they were both normal but I wonder now if hospital everyone else went to did the correct test?

bluecarpet Mon 09-May-16 22:00:59

You're entitled to a second opinion on the NHS (but not a third, fourth....) rather than asking your neurologist for another scan I would suggest asking your GP for an opinion from another neurologist.

I would counsel against requesting particular technicalities of scans, unless you are trained in the area.

Hedgehog80 Mon 09-May-16 22:05:25

The second wasn't my request for a second opinion- the GP wanted me to have contrast so re referred but then I was told I didn't need it just a repeat scan(the first took 10-15 mins the second about 25 mins)

amarmai Mon 09-May-16 22:27:09

how do they inject the dye for the contrast MRI? If it's the way i saw with a ginormous horse needle stabbing right into the heart-i chickened out and said it was against my religion. But am coming up for another MRI and am terrified already. Op if your dr is cooperative get another reading and ask about other tests and methods.

Hedgehog80 Mon 09-May-16 22:41:22

It's just a small Iv In arm or back of hand both db and dsis had it. Dais said the worst part was it made her feel like she would wet herself

OvertiredandConfused Mon 09-May-16 22:43:20

Contrast MRI just involves an injection the arm. Not pleasant, but fairly routine and not painful. I have a couple of MRIs a year on my brain so am becoming an expert!

shinynewusername Mon 09-May-16 22:43:42

Hi OP, with that family history and your symptoms, you need to ask your GP for a referral to neurologist as you may need an MRI angiogram - GPs can't request these.

It sounds as if your GP has done a good job of getting you investigated as far as s/he is able but unfortunately we don't have access to the full range of scans.

You are right that the constant pain is probably not migraine but something different. There is a very very good chance that any further tests will still be normal. Most investigations of all types for headache come back as normal and the commonest cause of a constant headache is muscular pain from the scalp muscles which is totally harmless. But you are right to want to get this checked out to be on the safe side.

CantChoose Mon 09-May-16 23:25:50

This is not really my area but in my hospital we have some kind of special MRI machine which does some blood vessel scans that you'd think need to use contrast without actually using it. There was some confusion when w first got it as people thought they were getting the wrong scans.
As your second scan took longer it could have been one of these, I'd probably check exactly what type of scan it was first.
Sorry this is vague...

Spam88 Mon 09-May-16 23:49:15

I was going to say what CantChoose said - the fact that your second scan took longer means they did a different type of scan. There are countless different scans you can do on MRI scanners and all of those show different tissues differently. So your GP will have requested a contrast scan because he wanted to see a particular feature in your brain, but the hospital was able to perform a type of scan that could show that feature up without needing to inject you with contrast.

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