Imaging considerations of central nervous system manifestations in pediatric patients with neurofibromatosis type 1
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CT and MRI were used in a prospective study of the central nervous system (CNS) manifestations in 41 consecutive children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1). Gadolinium-DTPA was used in 15 patients. MRI was more effective than CT in delimiting the extension of the optic pathway glioma and in evaluating associated cerebral malformations. MRI visualized lesions generally undetected by CT, in the form of iso- or hyperintense foci with respect to the cerebral cortex in T2-weighted sequences. Well-delimited lesions of high signal intensity were observed in the globus pallidus (22 cases), the internal capsule (6 cases), corpus callosum (2 cases), anterior commissure (1 case) and semioval center (2 cases). Poorly defined hyper- or isointense areas were also observed affecting the cerebellar white matter (21 cases) and brain stem (17 cases). None of these lesions showed Gadolinium-DTPA enhancement, and were of no clinical significance. MRI has displaced CT in the initial diagnosis of patients with NF-1. Periodic annual MRI controls are only justified in patients with MRI changes to evaluate the progression or stabilization of the lesions.
KeywordsCorpus Callosum High Signal Intensity Globus Pallidus Internal Capsule Optic Pathway
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