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MRI of spine shows increased red marrow, nerve root sheath cyst. Meaning?

Apr 2013
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An MRI of my spine showed increased red marrow and nerve root sheath cysts. What could this mean?
Posted Fri, 14 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 3 hours later
Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX Thank you for your query.

Increased red marrow can indicate higher production of red blood cells which can be found in healthy people who recently started with some physical activity(running, walking, exercise) but also can be suggestive of some chronic haematologic disease (thalassemia, anaemia, myelopoliferative diseases, or relative hypoxia due to factors such as sleep apnea or smoking.
This shouldnt worry you if your blood picture is fine.

Nerve root cyst is probably something called Tarlov cyst and this is benign cyst in spinal canal which is usualy accidentaly detected by MRI. Most of them dont cause any symptoms and it should only be frequently checked up. Sometimes it can press surrounding nerves especially if larger than 2cm and cause symptoms such as:
Back and perineal pain, urinary incontinence, retrograde ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, paresthesias in perineum and legs. So erectile dysfunction is possibly resulting from it,but you should also try to find some other more common causes first( psychologcial, penis blood flow abnormality or penis nerves disorders).
When Tarlov cyst is symptomatic or larger than 2cm or causing severe neurologic symptoms, then surgical procedure may be considered.

WIsh you good health. If you have anything to ask I ll be gald to help.
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