Imaging Tutorial: Differential Diagnosis of Bright Lesions on Diffusion-weighted MR Images

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1148/rg.e7

High sensitivity (94%) and specificity (100%) have been reported in the diagnosis of acute cerebral infarction with diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. However, high signal intensity on diffusion-weighted MR images and low apparent diffusion coefficient values (similar to the findings in acute cerebral infarction) were reported in such diverse conditions as hemorrhage, abscess, lymphoma, and even Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The differential diagnosis of these conditions (eg, acute ischemic infarction and acute cerebral hemorrhage) is critical for the determination of appropriate treatment. The authors present a systematic review of bright lesions on diffusion-weighted MR images and their differential diagnosis, with emphasis on the practical and clinical approaches of differential diagnosis.

© RSNA, 2002

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Article History

Published in print: Jan 2003