Sticky Blood-Hughes Syndrome Support
8,079 members8,319 posts

Can MRI and CT scan miss a stroke?

Hello everyone, I have been reading into every one experience. I am so lost and also broken and depressed. I just had an awful experience. I was with my husband at home and suddenly my left side of my mouth started drooping my words slurring my left had curled and arm curled into my side of my body. It lasted less than a minute. My husband puts me in bed again another episode left side mouth droops again words slurring pain. Left arm pain and left side of body also. The day before this happen to me I had the worst headache. I do not suffer from migraines. So it was very strange for me to have one. I asked my husband to take me to ER 2days later. I believe I just suffered a stroke. I still had the left side pain from back of neck down to leg, but especially the arm. Couldn't even carry my purse. After hours in exam room and CT scan MRI and ex ray I was told it could have been a migrain or anxiety. I have suffered from anxiety from the past I know it was not that. I still have pain on left shoulder and arm. I just so confused and alone. Please if any one has experienced any similar your input would help tremendously.

7 Replies

Hi there, you might have had a TIA, and they do not always show up on scans, firstly do you have a diagnosis of Hughes Syndrome? If you do not, you can always do these tests with your GP:

Also some clues, did you have migraines as a teenagers? Do any other relatives have autoimmune conditions? You do need your doctor to run those tests, that will help with any diagnosis. Where are you located?

Do let us know how you get on, and bear in mind that this is a forum for those with Hughes Syndrome.



I had a TIA in February - my understanding, from my Stroke Consultant is that the difference between a stroke vs a TIA is that there is no lasting physical effect from a TIA - hence the "transient" part of the name.

TIAs may or may not show up on an MRI. A stroke will show up.

Personally, they could see evidence of my TIA on the MRI but only when it was reviewed by a senior team - the initial review of the scan missed it.

I hope that helps!


Also, you said you had pain in the left side of your body? Was it pain or weakness?



I have had three T.I.A's. Not diagnosed by MRI, but by my doctor immediately after the incident as we went straight to him as it happened. They were all slightly different in experience and yes, I had a lot of pain with my second one and lasting effects for about six months. My left shoulder and arm were extremely painful and "dead" feeling when it happened and the pain and weakness in the arm continued, but not the other symptoms. I tried everything, physio, cortisone injections and acupuncture to try and fix it, took about six months. And the aphasia from the last one a few months ago took weeks to get better.

I don't want to alarm or upset you, but that is my experience. However I am diagnosed APS with migraines, TIA's, miscarriage and pulmonary embolisms.

Best of luck and take care.


Hi there, I had exactly the same experience - they ended up concluding it was either a TIA or a hemiplegic migraine. Only when I went to a private specialist did I get the diagnosis of APS. My Mum and sister have APS and a history of TIAs so it then made sense that I had a TIA. It's a horrible experience and worrying not to get an answer in the first few weeks but definitely push for an answer. Hope you find out what caused it soon

All the very best of luck


Your story sounds very similar to mine. I too had a sudden onset with left-sided paralysis, including a droopy face. My teenage daughter was at home and called 911. I still had symptoms when the ambulance arrived, but most of the symptoms resolved on the ride to the hospital. So much so, that the ER doctors harranged the ambulance crew for, as the doctor put it, "letting yourself be convinced by this nutcase that she was having a stroke when obviously she was not."

But this was the first obvious incident ( and the most recent ina string of weird feelings I had called panic attacks) and fortunately I was referred to a conscientious neurologist who ordered an MRI which revealed stroke damage. It seems odd to say that I was pleased with the results because who wants evidence of brain damage? On the other hand the validation was good. I was not a nutcase.

I live in West Virginia. The state which is not known for its medical expertise. But several high school friends who were now doctors or married to doctors, -and because they had known me for years, knew I was not a nutcase – – got together on the phone with my husband and referred me to an out-of-state hematologist who diagnosed me with APS and put me on warfarin. And that was the end of my panic attacks/mini strokes/TIAs.

– – And by the way, that conscientious neurologist told me that the differences among stroke, mini stroke and TIAs is in the mind and eye of the physician.

And also a suggestion: Brain damage can be reversed. After a year on warfarin, and after many hikes, balance exercises and a lot Book reading, subsequent MRIs showed only one lesion left in my brain.

Good luck!


YES YES YES...I had a similar experience...was sent home from the ER after a CT scan showed nothing in theory and then finally after suffering more serious symptoms they found the bleed on an MRI, cerebral angio, etc....venal sinus thrombosis was the ultimate diagnosis...HANG IN THERE...


You may also like...