DEGOSSMemberSeptember 11, 2011 at 12:17 amPost count: 3
I’m a 74 year old male. Recently, I had a lumbar spine MRI. The neurologist who ordered the MRI and read its results reported to my family physician, an internist, that I have spinal arthritis. When my family doctor reviewed the MRI himself, he saw something among the MRI’s images that raised a red flag. He’s asked me to schedule an examination with a hematologist. He said we could discuss the situation better after the hematologist’s exam. I conjecture that the MRI may be reporting some sort of bone marrow disorder. I’d like you to comment on that potentiality, please. Thank you.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorSeptember 12, 2011 at 2:47 amPost count: 8427
Your diagnosis of “spinal arthritis” is a poor generalized term meaning degeneration of the spine like the term “lumbago” means low back pain. “Arthritis” really just means degenerative changes. This condition could lead to lower back pain or leg symptoms from nerve compression.
The fact that your physician wants to send you to a hematologist most likely means there are some bone marrow signal changes. When we get older, we develop a combination of “red” and “white” marrow in the spine that looks suspicious on MRI. These have to be differentiated from pathological changes such as myeloma or leukemic changes. Most likely, this is the reason for the visit to the hematologist.
Dr. CorenmanDEGOSSMemberSeptember 12, 2011 at 4:44 amPost count: 3
Thank you for your prompt response to my MRI findings question. You have quieted my initial concerns about a hematologist examination. A hematologic exam now makes sense to me, especially since both my parents in their 60s died of cancer – AML in my mother’s case; inoperable brain tumor in my father’s. Presently, I’m in good health and ML symptoms-free. I’m hopeful a hematologic exam confirms that I’m presently myeloma or leukemia free.DEGOSSMemberSeptember 14, 2011 at 6:52 amPost count: 3
My internist says the incidental finding of “red” and “white” marrow on an MRI (referred to by Dr. Corenman), has a very small probability of representing an early lymphoma. But when such finding shows up on an MRI, according to my internist, it’s reasonable and prudent to undergo a hematologic examine by a hematologist.
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