Can It Still Be Ms If The Spinal Tap Is Normal?


Asked by Melissa's Mom

Can It Still Be Ms If The Spinal Tap Is Normal?

Can you still have MS is Spinal Tap is normal? I went to the neurologist about a year ago beacause I had some tingling on my right side. Shedid a battery of tests. She did a blood test that showed demyliniation (sp?) and a contrast MRI that showed "non-specific" lesions in the white matter. A couple of weeks ago, I got this sudden feeling that someone "pulled the plug" and I felt like i was coming down with the flu or something. The next day, my vision was blurry and i had no appetite. All I wanted to do was sleep. About a week later, the left side of my body felt hot and tingly. I developed a noticable limp, and I had a difficult time writing (I am left-handed.) This lasted for about 3 or 4 days. I still have a little "buzzing" in my left side, but the limp is gone. A couple of years ago, right after my mom died, I had weakness on my right side, and the doctors called it a "conversion disorder."

My question is, even though the CSF was normal, doesn't this sound like MS?



Hi Janet,

If you haven't recently, it's time to go back to the neurologist. A diagnosis of MS requires that there be evidence of demyelination, separated by time and location. Oftentimes, two distinct attacks will help to fulfill that criteria. You neurologist will likely want to have you undergo another set of MRIs to compare to the ones last year.

But in answer to your question, yes it can still be MS even if the spinal tap is normal. The "O-bands" which are looked for in the spinal fluid are present when there has been active demyelination going on. Your results might be completely different now as compared to last year.

Time to call the neurologist.

Answered by Lisa Emrich