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Spine and Back Health

Do radiologists compare bone scan with MRI?



I am in desperate need of an answer and my primary care doctor isn`t helping. I had xrays and an MRI of my lumbar spine because I was interested in knowing how bad my degenerative disc and joint disease had progressed. The radiologist found on my MRI "an abnormal lesion with decreased signal intensity on both T1 and T2-weighted imaging involving the right iliac wing measuring 9mm" and another lesion "involving the L4 vertebral body measuring 6mm. The lesions are indeterminate for possible neoplastic process and further workup with contrasted imaging or a bone scan is suggested".

I had the bone scan done and the finding was based on comparison of my plain film which noted "degenerative changes involving the right hip." There was no mention of the lesions or my MRI. My primary care doctor said that radiology does not compare an MRI with a bone scan. Is this true?

I would like to know what these lesions are but have nowhere to turn. Can you please help???

Many thanks.


Hello, thank you for your question. What studies get compared by radiologists might depend on a lot of different issues. What you might want to do is to specifically ask your doctor to call the radiologists and discuss your case. If it turns out the radiologists are aware of the MRI findings and just didn't dictate anything specific in their report, your doctor might be able to get them to dictate an addendum specifically addressing whether there was abnormal activity on the bone scan in the areas seen on the MRI or not. I hope this helps.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University