Diffusion-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in acute brain stem infarction

A. Narisawa, H. Shamoto, H. Shimizu, T. Tominaga, T. Yoshimoto

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) provides one of the earliest demonstrations of ischemic lesions. However, some lesions may be missed in the acute stage due to technical limitation of DWI. We therefore conducted the study to clarify the sensitivity of DWI to acute brain stem infarctions. Twenty-eight patients with the final diagnosis of brain stem infarction (midbrain 2, pons 9, medulla oblongata 17) who had been examined by DWI within 24 hours of onset were retrospectively analyzed for how sensitively the initial DWI demonstrated the final ischemic lesion. Only obvious (distinguishable with DWI alone without referring clinical symptoms and other informations) hyperintensity on DWI was regarded to show an ischemic lesion. Sixteen(57.1%) out of 28 patients had brain stem infarctions demonstrated by initial DWI. In the remaining 12 cases, no obvious ischemic lesion was evident on initial DWI. Subsequent MRI studies obtained 127 hours, on average after the onset showed infarction in the medulla oblongata in 11 cases and in the pons in one case. Negative findings of DWI in the acute stage does not exclude possibility of the brain stem infarction, in particulary medulla oblongata infarction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1026
Number of pages6
JournalBrain and Nerve
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Acute stroke
  • Brain stem infarction
  • Cerebral infarction
  • Diffusion-weighted MRI(DWI)


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