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California Pediatric Neurologist
California Pediatric Neurologist, Pediatric Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 11
Experience:  4 years experience, board certified in pediatrics, neurology, and clinical neurophysiology
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a bright white spot shows up on my cervical MRI. Its located

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a bright white spot shows up on my cervical MRI. It's located in line with my jaw against the spine. Is bright white a fluid indicator? Perhaps a lymph node?
Is the spot in the spinal cord itself? Outside the spinal cord, but still inside the bones that make up the spine? In the bone itself, or outside the bone?
In general, with MRI, bright spots (on a type of image called T2 or FLAIR) show up because of an increase of fluid in the affected structure. This can be because of inflammation (from infection, for example), from tumors, or an old finding such as scarring of a structure. It could be a lymph node that is swollen. What was the official reading from the radiologist?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

the jelly bean sized bright white spot is in line with/on the spine in 'side view' at about C4

Three films show this with increasing magnification.

Only finding was some cervical spondylitis.

The bright spot was not addressed.

Purpose of MRI was base of skull originating headaches..

The bright spot should not be the source of the headaches since it is at C4. It could cause neck pain, depending on the location. If it is IN the spinal cord, the possibilities include syrinx (fluid filled cavity within the spinal cord that can cause loss of sensation of temperature on the skin around the neck), tumor, old injury. If it is OUTSIDE the spinal cord but inside the bones of the spine, it could be an arachnoid cyst (harmless collection of fluid), tumor, shwannoma (harmless tumor around the nerve coming off the spinal cord). If it is in the bony part of the spine, it could be a natural variant of the bone, a bone infection, disc protrusion. The location is very important for knowing exactly what the possibilities are. The best thing to do would be to contact the radiologist who read the MRI and ask him the exact location of the bright spot, and what the possibilities are. Many bright spots can also be incidental findings or artifacts (abnormal reading caused by the MRI machine, not a problem with a patient's anatomy). Symptoms of a C4 level problem with the spinal cord or nerve could include loss of sensation at the base of the neck, pain in that region, but not typically weakness or headache.
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