Serial measurements of CT attenuation and specific gravity in experimental cerebral edema.
Vasogenic cerebral edema was induced cryogenically in rhesus monkeys. Serial scans in both axial and coronal planes were used to study the onset, peak, and regression of edema. Progression of edema, predominantly involving the white matter, was analyzed from the postmortem distribution of a blood/brain barrier indicator (Evans blue) injected at surgery. Specific gravity was measured in fresh, unfixed specimens from both the edematous and normal hemispheres and correlated with corresponding CT attenuation values obtained before death. The drop in specific gravity closely corresponded to the decrease in CT attenuation.