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Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26824
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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I had a recent brain MRI ordered by a neurologist which was

Customer Question

I had a recent brain MRI ordered by a neurologist which was dictated as mild cerebral atrophy-which is very non specific as the cerebral area is the entire brain- so I contacted the radiologist myself and asked some other questions, her short response was to ask the Doctor- and said it involves the frontal regions- well, again that is so non specific- especially for a neurologist - I am a former medical professional, if I provided findings on an ultrasound exam of the heart- I wouldn't give an ejection fraction of 35% - and not mention WHICH walls were hypokenetic- I would be specific ( ie ) the posterior wall- lateral- anterior or a combination, am I expecting to much?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Can you first tell me two things please--
Why was the MRI done?
Can you give me the full final impression of the report?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
First, I am a 49.5 year old female. The BRAIN MRI was ordered due to what was stated as progressive ataxia- and dystonia, also have prior DX by a different neurologist for periphreal neuropathy. The complete dictated finding simply describes some findings in the ethmoid sinus ( ie ) chronic - and the maxillary sinus retention cyst- then " drum roll " mild cerebral atrophy " Which is WHY I contacted the RADIOLOGIST myself and asked to be more specific - to which she responded, she didn't know why I had mild cerebral atrophy .....and to ask my Doctor. Well, as should be expected I would think Doctors DEPEND on radiologists to provide specifics, ( ie ) in this instance - WHICH frontal regions, as you know there are regions of the frontal lobe that control motor response, movement and such....as said I would expect a more thorough report, the sinus issues she expounded on a little bit- who cares about my sinuses - my BRAIN atrophy is much more important.
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.
I fully understand.
How exactly may I help you with this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would you as a Physician expect the Radiologist to be specific- how does the dictated report help the neurologist by simply stating " mild cerebral atrophy " the cerebral is the entire brain- when a neuro is looking for a specific abnormality, and an abnormality is seen- it becomes important to be specific....so upon contacting the radiologist...she is short and states to ask the Doctor, and included it was the frontal regions- well, would you not expect the radiologist to be more specific as to WHICH FRONTAL regions, there are several regions to the frontal lobes...how is an MRI helpful if its dictated in this manner?
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.
I fully agree. The report as you've stated it is incomplete and nonspecific and he needed to state whether it were global atrophy (which it usually is) or specific areas and which areas/lobes. Hopefully the neurologist can look at the scan himself in addition to speaking to the radiologist