lunedì 14 marzo 2011

Band heterotopia

CASE 1 (7-month-old)

CASE 2 (Pre-adolescent)


Case 1: Axial and coronal T2-weighted images of the brain in a 7-month-old girl with seizures demonstrate a band of isointense signal within the subcortical white matter, characteristic of band heterotopia.
Case 2: Axial and coronal T1-weighted images demonstrate band heterotopia, better seen in this preadolescent girl due to completion of myelination.

Diagnosis: Band heterotopia

Band heterotopia is a rare neuronal migration anomaly which manifests as homogenous bands of gray matter are interposed between the lateral ventricles and cortical mantle with normal appearing white matter on either side. The overlying cortex may be normal, pachygyric, or display a simplified gyral pattern with short gyri and shallow sulci. At least six morphologically distinct subtypes have been described. Band heterotopias represent a subset of gray matter heterotopia which also includes subependymal and subcortical heterotopia subtypes.

Band heterotopia typically affects female patients as a result of an X-linked dominant inheritance pattern secondary to abnormal function of the doublecortin (DCX) gene (Xp22.3-p23) or less frequently the LIS1 (17p13.3) gene. Male patients can be affected due to sporadic mutations of these genes (41 reported cases in the literature by D’Agostino, et al in 2002). The rate of detectable mutations involving DCX or LIS1 in male patients (42%) is lower than the rate of 85% described in female patients. Dysmorphic features described in patients with band heterotopia include microcephaly (most common), wide nasal bridge, high arched palate, and short stature.

The clinical presentation of band heterotopia can range from normal to nearly normal intelligence and mild developmental delay to frank mental retardation. Seizures are often also present and may begin in the first decade, ranging from partial to generalized or multiple seizure types. The discovery of the underlying brain malformation is due to the onset of seizures in 65% of patients. Eventually 95% of patients with band heterotopias will develop epilepsy. Seizures associated with band heterotopia are often refractory to medical therapy, and surgical therapies such as callosotomy may be performed in these patients. In the series of 30 male patients published in 2002, 46% of patients were refractory to medical therapy and experienced up to 20-30 seizures daily despite trails of multiple therapeutic regimens. Affected male patients tend to have either mild or severe symptoms, whereas, female patients tend to have symptoms within the mild to moderate range of the spectrum from minimal cognitive impairment to severe mental retardation. Posterior involvement, in particular the partial posterior and intermediate posterior subtypes, occur more commonly in male patients. Frontal and diffuse subtypes are more often present in affected female patients.

lunedì 7 marzo 2011

Chloroma of epidural space

Additional clinical history: Acute leukemia.


Large anterior epidural mass extending from posterior clinoid to the cervicothoracic junction measuring approx. 6x3x1.5 cm with mass effect on the anterior pons, medulla, and upper cervical cord. No post-contrast imaging obtained.

Differential diagnosis: Epidural mass
- Metastatic disease
- Lymphoma
- Leukemia/chloroma
- Chordoma
- Osteomyelitis/epidural abscess
- Epidural hematoma
- Primary tumor such as neurofibroma/schwannoma

Diagnosis: Chloroma of epidural space

Key points

AKA granulocytic sarcoma, extramedullary myeloblastoma.
Most commonly occurs in the setting of AML.
Can also occur in setting of chronic myelogenous leukemia and other myeloproliferative disorders.
These tumors can involve any part of the body, either concurrently or sequentially.

Imaging characteristics:
- NECT: Isodense or hyper dense to brain or muscle
- MR: Hypo intense or Iso intense on T1-weighted MR images, heterogeneously Iso intense or hyper intense on T2-weighted MR images
- MR+C: Enhance homogeneously after injection of contrast medium

Paraspinal and intraspinal lesions are also thought to arise from perivenous arachnoid spread of leukemic cells. Uncommonly, spinal involvement by granulocytic sarcoma may cause compression of the spinal cord, cauda equina, or nerve roots

martedì 1 marzo 2011

Basilar dolichoectasia determining a vascular loop compression syndrome


Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3, Figure 4, and Figure 5: Axial high resolution T2 fiesta images show a dilated and tortuous basilar artery which extends into the left cerebellopontine angle. The visualized inner ear structures are normal.
Figure 6: The basilar artery appears to contact the left trigeminal nerve at the root-exit zone.

Diagnosis: Basilar dolichoectasia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a clinical syndrome composed of paroxysmal facial pain usually confined to the maxillary (V2) and/or mandibular (V3) branches of the trigeminal nerve. Occasionally the opthalmic division (V1) is also affected. This syndrome is more common in patients over the age of 65, with no gender specificity.

VLCS is a recognized cause of trigeminal neuralgia. The offending vessel courses into the anterior cerebellopontine cistern with subsequent irritation of the 5th cranial nerve at the preganglionic root entry zone (REnZ). Additional causes of trigeminal neuralgia include anuersysms, AVMs, and tumors of the cerebello-pontine angle. Demyelinating disorders such as multiple sclerosis are also described as a potential cause.

Thin section high resolution T2 MRI of the CPA/IAC allows the best visualization of the vascular loop. These images also show the anatomic course of the 5th cranial nerve from the root entry zone into meckel’s cave. The imaging protocol should include whole brain T2/FLAIR to exclude additional etiologies such as multiple sclerosis. Axial and coronal T1 of the brainstem with gadolinium enhancement is also helpful to look for cranial neuritis, perineural tumor, and cisternal tumor such as an epidermoid, schwanomma, or meningioma.