Magnetic Resonance Characteristics and Susceptibility Weighted Imaging of the Brain in Gadolinium Encephalopathy

Dejan Samardzic, Krishnamoorthy Thamburaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To report the brain imaging features on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in inadvertent intrathecal gadolinium administration. METHODS: A 67-year-old female with gadolinium encephalopathy from inadvertent high dose intrathecal gadolinium administration during an epidural steroid injection was studied with multisequence 3T MRI. RESULTS: T1-weighted imaging shows pseudo-T2 appearance with diffusion of gadolinium into the brain parenchyma, olivary bodies, and membranous labyrinth. Nulling of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) signal is absent on fluid attenuation recovery (FLAIR). Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) demonstrates features similar to subarachnoid hemorrhage. CT may demonstrate a pseudo-cerebral edema pattern given the high attenuation characteristics of gadolinium. CONCLUSION: Intrathecal gadolinium demonstrates characteristic imaging features on MRI of the brain and may mimic subarachnoid hemorrhage on susceptibility-weighted imaging. Identifying high dose gadolinium within the CSF spaces on MRI is essential to avoid diagnostic and therapeutic errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-139
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology

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