Discussions By Condition: Multiple Sclerosis

How accurate is the spinal tap results for MS?

Posted In: Multiple Sclerosis 3 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • September 23, 2008
  • 03:49 AM

How accurate are the results from a spinal tap in diagnosing MS? When I google the other medical terms of diagnosis found within the test interpretation, I find my symptoms are similar and I don't know if I am in denial or if I should get a 2nd opinion. I simply want to justify my uncertainty and if the spinal tap is the final say-so, I would like to know.
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  • How accurate are the results from a spinal tap in diagnosing MS? When I google the other medical terms of diagnosis found within the test interpretation, I find my symptoms are similar and I don't know if I am in denial or if I should get a 2nd opinion. I simply want to justify my uncertainty and if the spinal tap is the final say-so, I would like to know. Thanks Hello - Well.........the spinal tap is NOT definitive in & of itself, but is just a piece of the puzzle. A diagnosis of MS is one of exclusion, as the same findings in spinal fluid can exist in other "autoimmune" disorders as well. Yes, I believe you SHOULD get a second opinion! ALSO, insist on being tested for B-12 Deficiency, not simply with a Serum blood test, but with the more accurate uMMA (Urine Methylmalonic Acid) level test, as a B-12 deficiency can mimic MS. I'm not a medical professional, but I have lived with MS for 27 years. Personally, I have never had a spinal tap, as since the use of MRI can often negate the need for a spinal tap. Should your diagnosis remain in question, also seek the opinion of a qualified Allergist. I wish you the best of luck.
    Maggie222 5 Replies
    • December 12, 2008
    • 02:09 PM
    • 0
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  • make sure you get a lyme disease test also. It can mask it's self as many different disorders. Including MS and other autoimmune diseases. You dont have to find a tick bite either. Only about half of the people infected show signs of a rash. Your immune system can fight it off. All it is is a simple blood test.
    quinnarun 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • How accurate are the results from a spinal tap in diagnosing MS? When I google the other medical terms of diagnosis found within the test interpretation, I find my symptoms are similar and I don't know if I am in denial or if I should get a 2nd opinion. I simply want to justify my uncertainty and if the spinal tap is the final say-so, I would like to know. Thanks The results of a spinal tap (lumbar puncture) cannot ... alone ... confirm/deny a diagnosis of Multiple sclerosis, as one poster stated. It is simply one of many diagnostic tools used to aid in the process of finding out whether or not a person may have MS. As a matter-of-fact, the diagnosis of MS is difficult and in many cases, prove exhausting ... because there is no test to definitively conclude MS ... the diagnosis is made by process(es) of elimination. As yet another poster mentions, MS can mimic countless other conditions ... especially in it's initial stage(s) ... and further mentioned some of the most commonly- misdiagnosed conditions that mimic MS. By now, having now been through the lumbar puncture ... you may have had a lot of blood work done, been to other specialists to confirm/deny other possibilities, had an MRI with/without contrast. Perhaps several more that can rule out other conditions as well ... the CADISIL, CT Scans, Visually Evoked Potentials, Chest X-ray, reflex tests, etc. When everything has been exhausted, which ... in some cases ... takes a lot of time, a lot of visits to various specialists, a lot of pokes and blood draws, etc. ... then comes the lumbar puncture. Once everything else has been ruled out and MS is the only possible condition left, the lumbar puncture is considered to be a very informative test with regard to closing on a diagnosis of MS, as it should be positive in 75% to 95% of patients with MS. So if you feel as though you have been thoroughly tested, been run through the mill for a very considerable time ... and your providers can, and are willing, to provide you with that reassurance ... I'd say that it is very probable that you have MS. If you question any thoroughness pertaining to what brought your providers to conclude your diagnosis to be MS, I urge you to ask. Best to write down all of your questions/concerns prior to your appointment and have them ready to keep this as brief as possible, but also insuring yourself with the information you need to decide whether or not you are ready to rest on this diagnosis or if you still want it investigated further. Lastly, and most importantly ... get at least a 2nd opinion as well; that will ease your mind. And even three wouldn't hurt if only one provider has given you this diagnosis with unquestionable absolution ... they will all three conclude the same then. Two years ago, I found this to be an excellent resource; if it hasn't changed, you will find everything you need:http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=32&p=4&x=25&ord=ld
    neurotransmissing 145 Replies Flag this Response
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