The need for improved specificity in the diagnosis of 'occult' vascular malformations led to the use of MR in suspected cases in order to determine MR's potential for improved diagnostic accuracy. Six patients with six lesions histologically diagnosed as vascular malformation after partial (1) or complete (5) microsurgical excision were studied by CT, MR, and selective magnification subtraction angiography. In all cases, the cerebral lesions were apparently solitary and were visible as focal lesions on both CT and MR. Since angiography failed to reveal the pathologic blood vessels of the lesions, and no arteriovenous shunting was evident, these lesions were termed vascular malformations occult to angiography (VMOTA). Angiography revealed a mass effect in only two cases. MR did not reveal additional vascular malformations missed by CT. In each case, MR, which was performed in an attempt to support the diagnosis suggested by CT, did in fact do so by revealing signal abnormalities indicative of nonacute hemorrhage within the lesion on T1- and T2-weighted pulse sequence. Although, as on CT, MR features of these lesions were found to be nonspecific, the MR criteria reinforced the probable diagnosis of VMOTA in an additional 30 cases that had shown similar nonspecific CT features. In this second group, excluded from this study, in which histologic verification was not obtained because of perceived hazards of surgery, the increased assurance regarding the diagnosis led to proton-beam therapy without histologic verification in 18 cases. It is concluded that MR can provide significant improvement in the accuracy of diagnosing VMOTA beyond that obtainable just by plain and contrast-enhanced CT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging