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What does "Heterogenous marrow signal is seen in the distal humerous" mean?

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Posted on Wed, 23 Jul 2014
Question: I had a fall in December and hit my left side elbow wrist knee foot plus head. I have been having ex rays and had an MRI of my elbow. Diagnosis of MRI "Heterogenous marrow signal is seen in the distal humerous. This is felt to likely reflect abundant hematopoietic marrow. X ray correlation is recommended" My orthopedic is not sure what to do. He is suggesting at the suggestion of the doctor who read MRI to do a full body bone scan with the tracer.
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Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
This finding is nonspecific

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Thanks for your query.
Marrow signal heterogeneity is a very nonspecific finding. It may be entirely normal but may suggest underlying bone marrow disease on the other hand. If the Xray is normal I would suggest you to have full blood counts, kidney and liver function tests first.

If all these are normal, then getting a bone scan will be optional. Another option would be to just followup clinically. If any pain arises later, then to investigate.

Hope I have answered your queries. I will be happy to answer any further followup queries.

regards

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Indranil Ghosh (5 minutes later)
Since I fell very hard on concrete is it possibly from the accident? What type of blood tests do you suggest? What type of kidney and liver tests are you suggesting?
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Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Yes, may be due to trauma

Detailed Answer:
Trauma usually causes cortex (the hard bone) abnormalities first and then inner marrow problems but still this can be a result of trauma. In that case nothing is required as the cortex is intact.

I suggest you do Hemoglobin, white cell count and differential, platelet count, urea/creatinine, serum protein, albumin, AST, ALT and alkaline phosphatase at the least.

regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Indranil Ghosh

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Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1618 Questions

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What does "Heterogenous marrow signal is seen in the distal humerous" mean?

Brief Answer: This finding is nonspecific Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for your query. Marrow signal heterogeneity is a very nonspecific finding. It may be entirely normal but may suggest underlying bone marrow disease on the other hand. If the Xray is normal I would suggest you to have full blood counts, kidney and liver function tests first. If all these are normal, then getting a bone scan will be optional. Another option would be to just followup clinically. If any pain arises later, then to investigate. Hope I have answered your queries. I will be happy to answer any further followup queries. regards