Quote Originally Posted by ~Lin View Post
Do you need contrast to diagnose/rule out ms or is a regular mri enough?
Contrast makes lesions easier to see, especially if they are actively inflamed at the time of MRI; new lesions, particularly, light up on contrast, which is why doctors typically order MRIs with contrast during periods of exacerbated symptoms. But lesions are visible without contrast. I have had numerous MRIs of the brain and cord, some with contrast and some without, and in all cases the same lesions were identified. My neuro told me that I could refuse contrast for followup MRIs (absent exacerbation) if I was concerned about my kidneys, as the radiologist would still be able to compare studies.

It sounds like you're in excellent hands, Lin, you've had very thorough workups with appropriate specialists. Neurological diagnosis is a maddening process, it usually takes a long time to narrow things down and some docs give up too soon - but things seem to be going in the right direction for you. If your doctors are not concerned about your having MS, then it's probably not an issue for you.