Intracranial hemorrhage: principles of CT and MRI interpretationIntracranial hemorrhage: principles of CT and MRI interpretation
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Antwerp Surgical Training, Anatomy and Research Centre (ASTARC)
2001Secaucus, N.J., 2001
European radiology. - Secaucus, N.J.
11(2001):9, p. 1770-1783
Accurate diagnosis of intracranial hemorrhage represents a frequent challenge for the practicing radiologist. The purpose of this article is to provide the reader with a synoptic overview of the imaging characteristics of intracranial hemorrhage, using text, tables, and figures to illustrate time-dependent changes. We examine the underlying physical, biological, and biochemical factors of evolving hematoma and correlate them with the aspect on cross-sectional imaging techniques. On CT scanning, the appearance of intracranial blood is determined by density changes which occur over time, reflecting clot formation, clot retraction, clot lysis and, eventually, tissue loss. However. MRI has become the technique of choice for assessing the age of an intracranial hemorrhage. On MRI the signal intensity of intracranial hemorrhage is much more complex and is influenced by multiple variables including: (a) age, location, and size of the lesion; (b) technical factors (e.g., sequence type and parameters, field strength); and (c) biological factors (e.g., pO2, arterial vs venous origin, tissue pH, protein concentration, presence of a blood-brain barrier, condition of the patient). We discuss the intrinsic magnetic properties of sequential hemoglobin degradation products. The differences in evolution between extra- and intracerebral hemorrhages are addressed and illustrated.