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Stroke

MRI & MRA results

09/28/2006

Question:

I had an MRI & MRA of the brain. The test showed small nonspecific bright signals noted in the white matter bilaterally, could be due to several possibilities such as chronic migrane headaches,vasculitis,lacunar infarctions,collagen disease and demyelinating disease.Please note small aneurysm less than 3mm may not be appreciated by this study. I have never had a migrane headache. I do have systemic lupus, also temporal artertis. Could this be what those signals are?

Answer:

Lupus is one type of "collage disease", and temporal arteritis is a particular type of inflammation in the brain's blood vessels (which is a type of vasculitis).  So yes, the MRI findings could be related to these conditions, although there are many people who have "white matter changes" or "periventricular white matter disease" or "leukoariosis" without one of the listed conditions.  I have answered several questions on this topic previously (look for "white matter" in the title)--most common associated conditions associated with white matter changes are age, hypertension, and diabetes.

If you want to know how the findings relate to your specific medical conditions, it would be best to discuss these findings with your doctors.

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Response by:

Brett   Kissela, MD Brett Kissela, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Director, Neurology Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati