Semin Neurol 1998; 18(2): 221-236
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1040875
© 1998 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Pearls and Pitfalls in Clinical Neuroradiology

Stacy L. Greenspan, Vincent P. Mathews
  • Departments of Radiology and Neuroradiology, Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Publication History

Publication Date:
19 March 2008 (online)


Imaging technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. Central nervous system imaging, in particular, is an invaluable tool for the practicing clinical neurologist. Although computed tomography (CT) was once the procedure of choice for neuroimaging, CT has been surpassed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) because of the latter's greater sensitivity. MRI exquisitely demonstrates brain and spine pathology by means of its multiplanar capability and its ability to generate different tissue contrast with various pulse sequences. However, artifacts as well as normal anatomic variants can mimic significant CNS pathology. An understanding of the technology involved in producing and interpreting these images is necessary in order that protocols can be tailored for each individual patient and that unimportant findings are not misinterpreted as being pathologic. This article will present cases illustrating some of the common neuroimaging artifacts and normal variants as well as important differential diagnoses of certain imaging findings.