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Anyone know about spinal fluids?

Sam Miles sammiles at ix.netcom.com
Fri Jun 20 01:21:37 EST 1997

Mary-Pat Beaton wrote:
> I've been searching the web all day trying to find out about cerebro-spinal
> fluid, and what happens when you've got too much of it.  My aunt had a
> myelogram in something like 1974, at which time they inject your fluid with a
> dye of some sort, and has a few times since then been asked if she would allow
> the doctors to drain some of the fluid from her spine.  She won't let them,
> because the procedure was just horrid to her the first time.  Anyway, they
> insisted that it wouldn't have any adverse effects.  But she's been having
> some wicked leg and knee problems in the last two years and nobody can seem to
> tell her what it is. She's had surgery but that didn't work.  Now we're
> looking into the possibility that it might be a neurological condition of some
> sort - maybe MS, but I'm not a doctor, so I can only try so hard.  Anyway, the
> doctors are just not helping us and she's at her wit's end, because she can
> hardly walk some days.  It's very weird.  Does anyone have any suggestions as
> to where I can try?
> MP
> vixen at atcon.com

Drainage of small amounts of spinal fluid for diagnostic testing is a
common, safe, and relatively painless procedure. The sample of fluid can
be examined chemically and microscopically to provide additional data
which may be helpful to make a neurological diagnosis. (For example,
concentration of certain proteins are altered in some cases of MS) Fluid
is not usually drained for therapeutic purposes.

Such testing is quite different from a myelogram, where a small amount
of cerebrospinal fluid is replaced with dye for X-ray examination. The
dye is often irritating, so that procedure is usually quite painful.
Myelograms are not performed as frequently as they once were because MRI
can often provide equivalent data with less pain.

If I were you, I'd encourage your aunt to work with her doctors.

Good luck.

Sam Miles

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