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Flashcards in NeuroRad cases Deck (19):

  • What are the 3 anatomical divisions of neuroradiology?
  • What are the 2 main imaging modalities?

  • 3 main anatomical divisions
    1. Brain
    2. Spine
    3. Head and neck
  • 2 main imaging modalities
    • Computed Tomography (CT)
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)


What are common CNS pathologies of the brain?

  1. Stroke
  2. Multiple sclerosis
  3. Hypertension
  4. Aneurysm
  5. Tumor
  6. Trauma


What are common CNS patholiges of the spine?

  1. Facial trauma
  2. Infection
  3. Squamous cell carcinoma
  4. Atheroscleroticvascular dz
  5. Other malignant disease


What are common pathologies of the head/neck?

  1. Degenerative disease
  2. Infection
  3. Metastatic disease
  4. Trauma


When is contrast used in CT?

  • CTs of the head and neck soft tissues looking for infection or malignancy
  • CT angiograms of the head and neck
  • CT venograms of the head and neck
  • A few others


  • When is IV gadolinium used for MRI?
  • What is contrast usually not used for?
  • MRA head usually done (with/without) contrast
  • MRA neck and MRV best when done (with/without) contrast

  • Indications for IV gadolinium contrast in MR imaging
    • Infection
    • Primary tumors or metastatic disease
    • Demyelinating disease (MS)
    • A few others
  • Not usually done for stroke evaluation
  • MRA head usually done without contrast
  • MRA neck and MRV best when done with contrast


ACR Appropriateness for minor head trauma:

  • What is the most appropriate scan?

  • CT w/o contrast


Addtional factors to consider (CT vs. MRI):

  • Cost:  
  • Ionizing Radiation: 
  • Time to acquire: 
  • Patient Cooperation: 
  • Contrast Material: 
  • Ferronizing material (pacemakers, anuerysm clips, bullets): 


What is on the radiology differential diagnosis for acute intracranial hemorrhage?

  • Trauma
  • Vasular malformation
  • Aneurysm 
  • HTN 
  • Underlying neoplasm 
  • Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy 
  • Venous Thrombosis 
  • Anticoagulation 
  • Drug abuse 
  • Hemorrhage conversion of infarct 


What is the best image to find the source of a bleed for an acute intracranial hemorrhage?

CT angiography of the head


What are the findings of this Head CTA?

  • Large lobulated saccular aneurysm arising from an azygos anterior cerebral artery
  • Increased size of the right paramedian frontal hematoma which dissects into the subarachnoid and subdural spaces


Acute Intracranial Hemorrhage: Take home points

  • Acute hemorrhage is _________ on CT
  • Chronic hemorrhage is _________ on CT
  • Locations include: ....
  • Two most common causes of subarachnoid hemorrhage are ....
  • To look for an aneurysm on CTA, ______ is needed
    • What about for an MRA?

  • Acute hemorrhage is hyperdense (bright) on CT
  • Chronic hemorrhage is hypodense (dark) on CT
  • Locations include: subarachnoid, subdural, epidural, parenchymal, and intraventricular
    • Knowing the location of hemorrhage can help you work through a differential diagnosis
  • Two most common causes of subarachnoid hemorrhage are trauma and ruptured aneurysm
  • To look for an aneurysm on CTA, contrast is needed.
    • No contrast necessary for MRA


What is the clinical differential diagnosis for acute infarcts?

  • Cerebrovascular accident
  • Transient ischemic attack
  • Seizure
  • Encephalopathy


Acute Infarct: Take Home Points

  • Should you use a CT?
  • What determines your level of suspicion?
  • What is the most important role of a CT scan?
  • What is the best image? 
  • What is the key to finding an acute infarct?

  • May not see acute infarct on CT
  • Let clinical context determine level of suspicion
    • If high, get an MRI.
  • The most important role of CT in the acute stroke workup is to look for hemorrhage
  • Best MRI sequence to look for acute ischemic infarct is DWI (diffusion weighted imaging).
  • Knowing functional anatomy is key


What is the diagnosis of this CT?

  • Severe fracture dislocation injury at C7 - T1 with jumped facets
  • Numerous spine fractures (most of which are not pictured)


What can be used to examine the spinal cord, spinal ligaments, and possible epidural hematoma?



What is diagnosis from this MRI?

  • Cord contusion w/ edema at C7 and T1
  • Severe cord deformity from the dislocation
  • No cord hemorrhage
  • Some epidural hematoma
  • Numerous ligaments damaged


Spinal Trauma: Take Home Points

  • What is the best exam for screening?
  • What is the sensitivity for CT scans?
  • What is a MR scan used for?

  • CT is the initial screening exam for trauma patients not cleared clinically
  • Sensitivity for cervical spine injury 90-100% with CT
    • 50-75% with plain films
  • MR is used to evaluate for soft tissue abnormalities such as disc, ligament, nerve, or cord injuries


  • What is seen in this CT scan?
  • What is the concern?

  • Tubular foreign body (ballpoint pen) penetrating the left naris, left nasal cavity, right posterior ethmoids, right sphenoid sinus, right clinoid, and medial right temporal lobe, terminating in the atrium of the lateral ventricle
  • Concern for optic nerve injury and vascular injury (internal carotid artery)