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What Does This Lab Report Indicate?

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Posted on Fri, 14 Oct 2016
Question: what do this mean.. Moderate right exit foraminal encroachment C6-7 secondary to uncovertebral joint spurring. T2 hyperintense signal is demonstrated within the cervical spinal cord on the STIR sequence. However there is motion artifact and this apparent signal abnormality may be in part related to artifact. Subtle changes of myelopathy could have a similar appearance.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Read below

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

The first part, about the C6-7 encroachment means that thee is a bony spur, due to chronic arthritic changes of the spine, which is invading the foramina, the canal from which the nerve root leaves the spine. If there is nerve compression that may manifest with pain or other abnormal sensations along the trajectory of the nerve. That doesn't necessarily have to be the case though, it is a moderate encroachment, there may still be space for the nerve, so has any significance only if you have such pain.

The second part is inconclusive, because there is an abnormality in the spinal cord but the radiologist is unable to say whether there is some damage to the spinal cord or if it is a motion artifact, a misrepresentation of the machine because of the fact that you have moved and the images are not that clear.

So that report can't be interpreted alone, it depends again from symptoms and signs, it is significant if the doctor has found signs indicating spinal cord damage (muscle weakness, changes in the reflexes etc). If there are no such sign there may be no damage at all but simply an blurring created by movement.

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Olsi Taka (10 hours later)
Thank you. Is any of this bad. I just finished cancer treatments.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Read below.

Detailed Answer:
If you mean bad in the sense of life threatening, then no, there is no indication of anything life threatening there, nothing related to the cancer.

The doubt is only regarding chronic arthritic changes of the spine, which while not dangerous may cause pain and movement limitations. As I said though the exam itself is inconclusive in that regard and should be related to the symptoms you have (of which you mention nothing) and the signs on the neurologic examination.

I hope to have been of help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3674 Questions

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What Does This Lab Report Indicate?

Brief Answer: Read below Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. The first part, about the C6-7 encroachment means that thee is a bony spur, due to chronic arthritic changes of the spine, which is invading the foramina, the canal from which the nerve root leaves the spine. If there is nerve compression that may manifest with pain or other abnormal sensations along the trajectory of the nerve. That doesn't necessarily have to be the case though, it is a moderate encroachment, there may still be space for the nerve, so has any significance only if you have such pain. The second part is inconclusive, because there is an abnormality in the spinal cord but the radiologist is unable to say whether there is some damage to the spinal cord or if it is a motion artifact, a misrepresentation of the machine because of the fact that you have moved and the images are not that clear. So that report can't be interpreted alone, it depends again from symptoms and signs, it is significant if the doctor has found signs indicating spinal cord damage (muscle weakness, changes in the reflexes etc). If there are no such sign there may be no damage at all but simply an blurring created by movement. I remain at your disposal for other questions.