Twenty intracranial hematomas between 1 day and over 1 year old were imaged using magnetic resonance at 1.5 T, with T1- and T2-weighted spin-echo pulse sequences. Characteristic intensity patterns were observed in the evolution of the hematomas, which could be staged as acute (less than 1 week old), subacute (greater than 1 week and less than 1 month old), or chronic (greater than 1 month old). Acute hematomas were characterized by central hypointensity on T2-weighted images (WIs). Subacute hematomas had peripheral hyperintensity on T1-WIs and then on T2-WIs. This hyperintensity proceeded to fill in the hematoma in the chronic stage. In subacute and chronic hematomas, there was hypointensity on T2-WIs in the immediately adjacent part of the brain. On T2-WIs of acute and subacute hematomas, the nearby white matter was characterized by hyperintensity, consistent with edema. A different mechanism is proposed for each of the three characteristic intensity patterns. Two of these mechanisms increase in proportion to the square of the magnetic field magnitude.

Article History

Published in print: 1985