Susceptibility-weighted MR imaging: A better technique in the detection of capillary telangiectasia compared with t2∗ gradient-echo

U. S. Chaudhry, D. E. De Bruin, B. A. Policeni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Enhancing lesions on brain MR imaging can present a diagnostic quandary as both benign lesions such as brain capillary telangiectasia and pathologic lesions such as demyelination may appear similar. Stagnation of blood in low-flow venous channels of brain capillary telangiectasias results in susceptibility effect secondary to the increased local deoxyhemoglobin. Both T2∗ gradient-echo imaging and SWI were demonstrated as valuable in the diagnosis of brain capillary telangiectasia. Because SWI is more sensitive to susceptibility changes than gradient-echo, we aim to demonstrate increased diagnostic value of SWI compared with gradientecho in making the diagnosis of brain capillary telangiectasia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the MR images of 17 patients with a presumed diagnosis of brain capillary telangiectasia and who were examined from June 2010 to September 2012. All patients underwent MR imaging at 1.5T with T1, T2, FLAIR, gradient-echo, SWI, and gadolinium-enhanced T1 sequences. Lesions were evaluated for the presence or absence of signal abnormality on each particular sequence. RESULTS: All 17 brain capillary telangiectasias demonstrated distinct signal-intensity loss on SWI compared with 7 of 17 (41%) who showed signal-intensity loss on gradient-echo. The increased frequency of detection using SWI versus gradient-echo is statistically significant Z= 2.85, P < .01; χ2 =8.10, P < .01). Six of the lesions showed signal-intensity changes on T1 and/or T2 whereas the remaining lesions were isointense to normal brain. CONCLUSIONS: Brain capillary telangiectasias are more conspicuous on SWI than gradient-echo imaging and other precontrast MR imaging. SWI is a valuable tool in diagnosing these benign lesions and should serve to increase diagnostic confidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2302-2305
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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