Magnetic resonance imaging in central nervous system sarcoidosis

D. H. Miller, B. E. Kendall, S. Barter, G. Johnson, D. G. MacManus, S. J. Logsdail, I. E. Ormerod, W. I. McDonald

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We performed brain MRIs on 21 patients with CNS sarcoidosis. Brain CTs were performed in 18 of these. Parenchymal lesions were seen in 17 of 21 with MRI, compared with 9 of 18 with CT. MRI detected a greater number of parenchymal lesions in cases where both CT and MRI were positive, and some lesions appeared more extensive with MRI than with CT. The most common MRI pattern was one of periventricular and multifocal white matter lesions (14 cases). Such a pattern is not specific, and other recognized causes for it were identified in four cases. It is likely, however, that sarcoid tissue causes this pattern in some cases, and confirmation was obtained from cerebral biopsy in one. In six patients, the white matter changes were indistinguishable from those seen in multiple sclerosis. Contrast-enhanced CT in two patients showed diffuse meningeal involvement not seen with MRI. MRI is the investigation of choice in detecting parenchymal changes in the brain of patients with CNS sarcoidosis and may prove useful in monitoring treatment in such cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-383
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1988


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain
  • Central Nervous System Diseases
  • Diagnosis
  • Radiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Meninges Pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Optic Nerve Pathology
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Spinal Cord
  • Pathology
  • Tomography
  • X-Ray Computed

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