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MRI report: Wallerian degeneration

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    MRI report: Wallerian degeneration

    Hi all. Just wondering if anyone else has the words "Wallerian degeneration" mentioned in their MRI reports?

    I have sort of an understanding that this basically just means degeneration of the nerve cells, axonal death, and this phenomenon as its understood now might start already early in the ms process.

    As for myself, I was diagnosed some five years ago and my MRI reports speak of WD in the thalamus area. I wonder if this is commonplace or is my radiologist just mentioning out of her personal interest in WD or something...

    Widening or Thining corret terms in MRI report, not WD

    Yes that is what is thought to happen in the progressive stages.

    who ever wrote your radiology report was looking for brownie points, maybe up for a promotion or something like that? I do not understand why it would be in your MRI report..he has really got "issues". its a theory, i have no idea why he would have written it? might end up with a demotion instead of a promotion when he is suppose to record what is, not theory's he choose to follow.

    WD degeneration is thought to be a phenomenon of the CNS...when they become damage for some reason not understood they start attacking themself.

    in sport injuries they often bring a persons body temperature way down to prevent WD damage after the sports injury has occurred. there has been great success with doing that as you may have heard in many news shows of football injuries which should have resulted in a permenant loss of the ability to walk, but cooling the body temperature immediately seemed to stop or slow down WD after the injury and they retained an ability to walk.

    its also thought to play a roll in drowning victims who have gone too long without oxygen and the brain damage should have been much more severe, but they lowered the body temperature, maybe put them in an induced comma and allowed the CNS system time to heal while keeping body temperature down to slow WD and they survive.

    if your radiologist is using that term in his "objective" report of what your MRI shows, the more appropriate term would be "thinning" and allow the cause to be determine in better venues. thinning means atrophy which i believe he was incorrectly using WD as if it was inter-changeble..

    the damage done in progressive MS does not show in the mri, it is speculated it is WD damage being done and does not show in the MRI. but the result of "thinning" does. and that's what he is suppose to report if he knows how to do his job. the thory is after an onslaught of damage from MS in the RR stage the nerves start turning on them-self and start doing the damage them-self in the progressive stage. but that doesn't explain MS that is progressive with out a first an RR its a theory of what happens in progressive MS.

    thinning of the CNS is also normal in age where our bodies just wear of. but people with MS have "thinning" at 2x the rate of a normal healthy person.

    or widening of the ventricles or widening of the sculsi fold. is also a way to report it on an MRI report.

    I have heard that many MRI reports a written by medical students as a way to earn extra money. this could have been a medical student that just learned of the phenomena and was looking to impress his prof that he had not fallen asleep during the lecture. anything is possible, it could have happened.

    irst time thinning showed up on my MRI i asked the doc if it meant meant atrophy. I would suggest you do the same and ask the doc what WD means on the report.


      Hi Grade1:
      You're correct: Wallerian degeneration is cell death. It's a particular kind of cell death so has its own name. It's possible that the radiologist who wrote your report has a particular background in the types of neurodegeneration, so that term was readily available to her. But it isn't likely that the radiologist used it just because she has a particular interest in it. It's a more reasonable explanation that the term was used because it was specific and appropriate to the situation. After all, technical terms exist for a reason.

      The term is also significant in the comparison of degenerative lesions vs. demyelinated lesions, an important distinction in MS. Again, the use of specific terminology gives a more detailed interpretation of what was being seen. In comparison, it might be considered to be an incomplete interpretation if a finding on the MRI isn't explained as fully as possible or in as much detail as is appropriate to the situation. Some folks get a shock when they find out later that the radiology report left important things out.

      It also must be remembered that the report was written for other medical professionals who understand the terminology, not for nonmedical people who aren't familiar with it or why it was used. In current medical practice, it isn't the responsibility of a radiologist to "dumb down" the terminology used in a report so it can be understood by anyone and everyone who reads it.

      It's the physician's job to explain the terminology to the patient. So the next step for you might be to ask your neurologist what, specifically, Wallerian degeneration is and why it was significant enough to be noted in your radiology report. Don't be surprised, though, if your neuro says it was just because the radiologist liked using the term.