Apr 3, 2009

don't worry, it's just a little atrophy...

If your head CT report concluded:

"mild frontal atrophy"..."perhaps related to condition" (what condition?), would you feel concerned?

Apparently not, according to my new internist.

Good news, I suppose, but still...brain and atrophy aren't words I want in the same sentence!


  1. What exactly does this mean and what condition are they referring to?

  2. Uh, yeah...I'd be a tad worried...

  3. Anon -- The radiologist often doesn't know the indication for the CT scan, so "the condition" is nothing specific. Though, it is pretty amusing that they'd include this on a report that you received. Is your internist planning on an MRI? You really can't see much (besides blood) on head CT. MRIs are incredibly expensive though.

  4. Anon - What condition? That's exactly what I was wondering! But as OMDG pointed out, the radiologist really doesn't know the reason for the scan.

    Wandering - I'm glad I'm not alone. There is just no way that you can make that sentence sound breezy.

    OMDG - Apparently they got a good view of my cortical sulci - enough to see that they are widened. Why? No idea, but no one seems concerned, so I guess I shouldn't be either. ..(kind of like watching flight attendants during a bumpy patch of turbulence to determine if I should be worried, if they are still smiling and passing out the peanuts, I can sit back and relax).

    As a Canadian, I don't pay out of pocket for tests, nor do I have them approved by an insurance company, so if they are warranted, they will be done - it might just take a few months of waiting.

  5. I'm sure I would be worried also, although I had an MRI several years back that showed abnormal spots in my brain and I haven't had any complications (yet). I had the same reaction with the docs being relatively unconcerned so I didn't follow up with a neurologist. Still its scary. None of us wants anything abnormal or atrophied in our brains.

    P.S. You are fortunate not to have to pay for your medical tests because I'm sure I paid about $1500 dollars for my MRI and that was several years back.

  6. DH has "atrophy" too, and he felt the same way you did....I honestly don't think it has much to do with his "condition(s)" but what the heck do I know?

    I am pretty sure he doesn't have Alzheimer's. I can pretty much tell you the day I knew something was wrong. It hasn't been a "progressive" illness, it's had huge "ups" and massive "downs". And some "in betweens". So I'm pretending that the "atrophy" has been there all along.

    It's my dysfunctional way of coping, I guess....pretend it isn't there....