My 5 year old daughter has MS. Her neurologist called us today to state that the results of her recent MRI were that she has one mildly progressing lesion. She said it is one of her old lesions, and it is not enhancing. What does this mean? I am scared out of my mind that we have a hospital stay in our near future. Thanks for the help.
I can feel the anxiety in your question and have heard similar concerns from patients and family members surrounding their interactions with doctors. The real issue is not the MRI result but the way this information was transmitted to you through a presumably brief telephone call. This is one of the reasons that I will not do MRI reports over the phone unless the person lives so far away that a visit is not possible. The doctor may have even expressed reassurance during the phone call, but you only heard the message about the “mildly progressing lesion” ; this understandably created questions in your mind after the conversation was over. Now I have no idea about the details of your daughter’s case or what your neurologist meant about a “mildly progressing lesion.” For all I know, this was a meaningless comment from a radiologist’s report or was meant to express reassurance in a situation that was a reasonable cause for concern. Either way, you need and deserve more information, such as:
1. What exactly is the implication of a "mildly progressing lesion” in my daughter’ case?
2. Is she at risk for a symptomatic flare-up in the near future that would require an admission to the hospital?
3. Should there be a change in her treatment based on these MRI findings?
If you can’t receive reasonable responses to these questions, I would suggest that you ask for another opinion.
Good luck - Rip Kinkel, MD