YANMD: Periventricular white matter on the t2 and flair sequences
January 10, 2013 12:02 PM   Subscribe

YANMD: Periventricular white matter on the t2 and flair sequences. This is a result of my girlfriends MRI, I've Googled and Duck Duck Go -ed and am totally confused, Anyone know what ite means? Thanks.
posted by jara1953 to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
The radiologist who will read and interpret your girlfriends MRI will provide this information to the specialist and together they will discuss with her.

How is it y'all HAVE an MRI and Radiology report without first having someone explain it to you?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:05 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

On a T2-weighted scan, water- and fluid-containing tissues are bright (most modern T2 sequences are actually fast T2 sequences) and fat-containing tissues are dark. The reverse is true for T1-weighted images. Damaged tissue tends to develop edema, which makes a T2-weighted sequence sensitive for pathology, and generally able to distinguish pathologic tissue from normal tissue. With the addition of an additional radio frequency pulse and additional manipulation of the magnetic gradients, a T2-weighted sequence can be converted to a FLAIR sequence, in which free water is now dark, but edematous tissues remain bright. This sequence in particular is currently the most sensitive way to evaluate the brain for demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis

Essentially, there appears to be non-water fluid around the ventricles of the brain. I'm not a doctor, don't know what this means medically, how accurate the test is, etc. Wait until you talk to a doctor before stressing out over anything.
posted by empath at 12:11 PM on January 10, 2013

Hi. I have had a whole shitload of MRIs of my head, neck, and spine.

Often you get the radiologist's initial notes along with copies of your scan the day of your MRI appointment. In a few days when you have the follow up appointment with the specialist, they will sit down with more in-depth notes from the radiologist (or radiologists plural) and go over them with you, particularly if it's your first time. If it's your shitload'th time, they'll probably just discuss it over a phone call.

Right now, just sit back and wait to talk to a doc. Probably best not to google.
posted by phunniemee at 12:14 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I really want to emphasize that I am only basing my answer on the wikipedia article, so seriously take what I say with a grain of salt-- there might be a bunch of benign interpretations possible of that result. Someone with actual medical expertise may come around with a better answer.
posted by empath at 12:14 PM on January 10, 2013

Periventricular white matter on the t2 and flair sequences

"T2" and "FLAIR" are different types of MRI sequences -- different ways of looking at the brain.

"Periventricular white matter" is just white matter around the ventricals of the brain. White matter and grey matter are the two types of brain tissue. The ventricals are empty regions in your brain (that everyone has).

The phrase "Periventricular white matter on the t2 and flair sequences" just means they looked at the periventricular white matter using two common types of MRI scans. It gives you no diagnostical information, or even information about what they are looking for.

I am an MRI scientist, but not a medical doctor in any way, shape or form. Talk to your radiologist. Interpreting MRI scans is a very specialized and difficult field and I highly suggest you don't try to do it yourself or via the internet.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 12:25 PM on January 10, 2013 [18 favorites]

Any reason she hasn't discussed this with her doctor? The radiologist's report, interpreted by a doctor in conjunction with her clinical history, will be used to make decisions about future treatment.

No-one here can give you useful information about what this means without all the relevant information about your girlfriend.
posted by altolinguistic at 12:27 PM on January 10, 2013

Also, please ignore empath's interpretation of the wikipedia article.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 12:28 PM on January 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

Hi, I'm an MRI tech, but not a radiologist. What you have is not "a result of the MRI," it's just notes on the images that were recorded during the scan. If there were any actual findings of interest that came out of the scan, the doctor will discuss them with your girlfriend.
posted by Nomyte at 12:30 PM on January 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

. Interpreting MRI scans is a very specialized and difficult field and I highly suggest you don't try to do it yourself or via the internet.

Second-year medical student here. Don't listen to anybody on here about interpretations, and talk to your radiologist ASAP. This is not something you should be trusting laymen about. I wouldn't even trust myself to help you interpret these results.

There's a reason why it takes four years AFTER medical school to complete a radiology residency.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 3:15 PM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

IAAN(eurologist), IANYN (or YGFN).

"White matter" is a particular type of tissue in the brain. "Periventricular" merely describes the location in the brain - around the ventricles. "T2 and FLAIR" refer to particular MRI sequences - yes, they essentially refer to the water content of tissue, but that is neither here nor there, really. T2 and FLAIR are commonly used to look at white matter.

The phrase you're looking at merely describes a location in the brain, which they looked at using techniques commonly used to look at said location.

Anything more is really between your girlfriend and her physician, as everyone's mentioned above.

Someone who knows how to read brain MRIs needs to look at that MRI; Googling really, really gets you nowhere when it comes to radiology, even to people with some medical knowledge. You have to look at it (with proper knowledge of clinical context) to know whether it's something or nothing!
posted by vetala at 3:18 PM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Just adding my voice to the several people saying that's just a region of that brain. That phrase in itself tells you absolutely nothing at all, so stop worrying until you are given something to worry about!

(Credentials - spent 5 years looking at T2 and FLAIR scans along with the radiologists reports on them as part of my PhD, and now have a job that involves reading radiologist reports on CT brain scans on a regular basis).
posted by kadia_a at 12:00 PM on January 11, 2013

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