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[Diffusion weighted MR: principles and clinical use in selected brain diseases].
Radiol Med. 2000 Dec; 100(6):470-9.RM

Abstract

PURPOSE

To define the principles and technical bases of diffusion weighted MR imaging of the brain and report our experience in the evaluation of selected brain disorders including age-related ischemic white matter changes (leukoaraiosis), neoplastic and infective cysts and wallerian degeneration.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

Between May 1999 and June 2000 we examined seventeen patients: 10 patients with leukoaraiosis and deterioration of cognitive and motor function, 5 patients with focal cystic lesions (one anaplastic astrocytoma, one glioblastoma, one metastasis from squamous cell lung carcinoma, one pyogenic abscess and one case with cerebral tubercolosis) and 2 patients with wallerian degeneration (one with post-hemorrhagic degeneration of right corticospinal tract and one with post-traumatic degeneration of left optic tract). All patients underwent a standard cranial MR examination including SE T1-, proton density, T2-weighted, FLAIR and diffusion weighted images. Post-contrast T1-weighted sequences were also obtained in the patients with cystic lesions. Diffusion weighted images were acquired with double shot echoplanar sequences. Diffusion sensitizing gradient along the x, y and z axes and b values ranging 800 to 1200 s/mm2 were used. For each slice a set of three orthogonal diffusion "anisotropic" images, an "isotropic" image and a standard T2-weighted image were reconstructed. Postprocessing included generation of the apparent diffusion coefficient maps and of the "trace" image that reflects pixel by pixel the diffusional properties of water particles only. Values of mean diffusivity within regions of interest were computed in the "trace" image and compared with those obtained in contralateral brain areas. In patients with leukoaraiosis the diffusivity in posterior periventricular white matter was compared with that measured in 10 age-matched control subjects without leukoaraiosis.

RESULTS

In patients with leukoaraiosis the areas of increased periventricular signal intensity on T2-weighted images showed a significantly higher (p < 0.001) diffusivity (mean values 124.7 +/- 21.3 x 10(-5) mm2/s) as compared to control subjects (mean values 85 +/- 7 x 10(-5) mm2/s). Diffusion weighted images in 2 patients revealed the presence of a small focal area of increased signal and reduced diffusivity in "trace" images consistent with recent ischemic lesion. In neoplastic cystic lesions the central necrotic/cystic content was always hypointense on diffusion weighted images and showed increased diffusivity on "trace" images. On the other hand the central necrotic content of the pyogenic brain abscess was hyperintense and showed low diffusivity. In patients with wallerian degeneration diffusion weighted images and "trace" images demonstrated loss of anisotropy and increased diffusivity in the affected white matter tract relative to the contralateral.

DISCUSSION

The increased diffusivity observed in areas of leukoaraiosis and the identification of subclinical acute ischemic lesions by diffusion weighted images might be more useful than standard MR sequences for monitoring the disease progression. Diffusion weighted images allow differentiation of the different parts of focal cystic lesions (edema, solid and cystic/necrotic portion) and are useful to differentiate pyogenic brain abscess from necrotic tumors. In patients with wallerian degeneration the loss of anisotropy and the increase of diffusivity values in the affected tract are probably related to myelin breakdown and allow better recognition of the affected tract relative to standard MR images.

CONCLUSIONS

Diffusion weighted MR imaging can be performed during a standard cranial MR examination and add useful clinical information in several brain disorders besides acute ischemic stroke.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Clinica, Sezione di Radiodiagnostica dell'Università, Firenze.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
English Abstract
Journal Article

Language

ita

PubMed ID

11307509

Citation

Nistri, M, et al. "[Diffusion Weighted MR: Principles and Clinical Use in Selected Brain Diseases]." La Radiologia Medica, vol. 100, no. 6, 2000, pp. 470-9.
Nistri M, Mascalchi M, Moretti M, et al. [Diffusion weighted MR: principles and clinical use in selected brain diseases]. Radiol Med. 2000;100(6):470-9.
Nistri, M., Mascalchi, M., Moretti, M., Tessa, C., Politi, L. S., Orlandi, I., Pellicanò, G., & Villari, N. (2000). [Diffusion weighted MR: principles and clinical use in selected brain diseases]. La Radiologia Medica, 100(6), 470-9.
Nistri M, et al. [Diffusion Weighted MR: Principles and Clinical Use in Selected Brain Diseases]. Radiol Med. 2000;100(6):470-9. PubMed PMID: 11307509.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - [Diffusion weighted MR: principles and clinical use in selected brain diseases]. AU - Nistri,M, AU - Mascalchi,M, AU - Moretti,M, AU - Tessa,C, AU - Politi,L S, AU - Orlandi,I, AU - Pellicanò,G, AU - Villari,N, PY - 2001/4/20/pubmed PY - 2001/5/22/medline PY - 2001/4/20/entrez SP - 470 EP - 9 JF - La Radiologia medica JO - Radiol Med VL - 100 IS - 6 N2 - PURPOSE: To define the principles and technical bases of diffusion weighted MR imaging of the brain and report our experience in the evaluation of selected brain disorders including age-related ischemic white matter changes (leukoaraiosis), neoplastic and infective cysts and wallerian degeneration. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between May 1999 and June 2000 we examined seventeen patients: 10 patients with leukoaraiosis and deterioration of cognitive and motor function, 5 patients with focal cystic lesions (one anaplastic astrocytoma, one glioblastoma, one metastasis from squamous cell lung carcinoma, one pyogenic abscess and one case with cerebral tubercolosis) and 2 patients with wallerian degeneration (one with post-hemorrhagic degeneration of right corticospinal tract and one with post-traumatic degeneration of left optic tract). All patients underwent a standard cranial MR examination including SE T1-, proton density, T2-weighted, FLAIR and diffusion weighted images. Post-contrast T1-weighted sequences were also obtained in the patients with cystic lesions. Diffusion weighted images were acquired with double shot echoplanar sequences. Diffusion sensitizing gradient along the x, y and z axes and b values ranging 800 to 1200 s/mm2 were used. For each slice a set of three orthogonal diffusion "anisotropic" images, an "isotropic" image and a standard T2-weighted image were reconstructed. Postprocessing included generation of the apparent diffusion coefficient maps and of the "trace" image that reflects pixel by pixel the diffusional properties of water particles only. Values of mean diffusivity within regions of interest were computed in the "trace" image and compared with those obtained in contralateral brain areas. In patients with leukoaraiosis the diffusivity in posterior periventricular white matter was compared with that measured in 10 age-matched control subjects without leukoaraiosis. RESULTS: In patients with leukoaraiosis the areas of increased periventricular signal intensity on T2-weighted images showed a significantly higher (p < 0.001) diffusivity (mean values 124.7 +/- 21.3 x 10(-5) mm2/s) as compared to control subjects (mean values 85 +/- 7 x 10(-5) mm2/s). Diffusion weighted images in 2 patients revealed the presence of a small focal area of increased signal and reduced diffusivity in "trace" images consistent with recent ischemic lesion. In neoplastic cystic lesions the central necrotic/cystic content was always hypointense on diffusion weighted images and showed increased diffusivity on "trace" images. On the other hand the central necrotic content of the pyogenic brain abscess was hyperintense and showed low diffusivity. In patients with wallerian degeneration diffusion weighted images and "trace" images demonstrated loss of anisotropy and increased diffusivity in the affected white matter tract relative to the contralateral. DISCUSSION: The increased diffusivity observed in areas of leukoaraiosis and the identification of subclinical acute ischemic lesions by diffusion weighted images might be more useful than standard MR sequences for monitoring the disease progression. Diffusion weighted images allow differentiation of the different parts of focal cystic lesions (edema, solid and cystic/necrotic portion) and are useful to differentiate pyogenic brain abscess from necrotic tumors. In patients with wallerian degeneration the loss of anisotropy and the increase of diffusivity values in the affected tract are probably related to myelin breakdown and allow better recognition of the affected tract relative to standard MR images. CONCLUSIONS: Diffusion weighted MR imaging can be performed during a standard cranial MR examination and add useful clinical information in several brain disorders besides acute ischemic stroke. SN - 0033-8362 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/11307509/[Diffusion_weighted_MR:_principles_and_clinical_use_in_selected_brain_diseases]_ L2 - https://medlineplus.gov/braindiseases.html DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -