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    What does severe atrophy in a MRI report indicate?

Posted on Sat, 15 Jul 2017 in Brain and Spine
Question: Recently I had a MRI with and w/o contrast of the pituitary due to increase in prolactin level.l'm a w\m age 67.Report was fine no tumors but did list severe atrophy as part of Dx. What could radiologist have meant by this.
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
decrease in size, wasting away, declining function, degeneration

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Atrophy means a reduction in size, wasting away, degeneration.

The significance of the term would depend on the area that is atrophied. The MRI should state which area of the brain is involved in atrophy.
Eg the cortex, cerebellum etc

Some slight atrophy of the cortex (main area of the brain) is expected with aging. This happens with most persons.
Significant atrophy of the cortex can affect functioning such as memory, language, reasoning etc

You can consider a follow up question with the exact words of the report or attach it , so that it can be interpreted.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions


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