Perilesional Hyperintensity on T1-Weighted Images in Intra-Axial Brain Masses other than Cavernous Malformations

S. Ali Nabavizadeh, Dasha Pechersky, J. Eric Schmitt, MacLean Nasrallah, Ronald Wolf, Laurie Loevner, Alexander C. Mamourian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Hyperintensity on T1-weighted imaging in perilesional vasogenic edema has been reported as a useful sign for differentiating cavernous malformation from other hemorrhagic intra-axial masses. In this study, we investigated the frequency of perilesional hyperintensity on T1-weighted imaging in patients with intra-axial hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic brain masses. METHODS: The study was performed with the approval of the institutional review board. Magnetic resonance images of 218 patients with 282 intra-axial brain masses (129 metastases, 46 gliomas, 18 primary central nervous system lymphomas [PCNSLs], 25 intracerebral hemorrhages, 50 cavernous malformations, and 14 patients with brain abscesses) were evaluated. The signal intensity in perilesional area was qualitatively evaluated on T1-weighted sequences. In addition, signal intensity in perilesional area was quantitatively measured on T1-weighted sequences and normalized to the contralateral white matter. RESULTS: Hyperintensity on T1-weighted imaging in perilesional vasogenic edema was found in 12 (9%) of 129 metastases, 8 (16%) of 50 cavernous malformations, 1 (4%) in 25 nonneoplastic intracerebral hemorrhages, and none of the patients with high-grade glioma, PCNSL, or abscess. All of the lesions with perilesional hyperintensity showed either acute or subacute hemorrhage. Pairwise comparison of qualitative hyperintensity on T1-weighted imaging demonstrated no significant difference between the groups. Perilesional hyperintensity on T1-weighted imaging showed high specificity in both metastasis and cavernous malformation groups (94%). CONCLUSION: Perilesional hyperintensity on T1-weighted imaging is not limited to cavernous malformations and frequently evident with melanoma and other hemorrhagic metastasis to the brain. In our experience, it was not seen in high-grade glioma, PCNSL, and brain abscess.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-538
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this