Arachnoid granulations on high-resolution MR images and diffusion-weighted MR images: normal appearance and frequency

Radiat Med. 2000 May-Jun;18(3):187-91.


Arachnoid granulations (AGs), protrusions into the cerebral venous sinus lumen, have been reported on cerebral venography, contrast enhanced CT, and conventional MR imaging. Although thin-sliced high-resolution MR images and diffusion-weighted images are frequently obtained, there have been no detailed reports concerning AGs on these images. In this study, the frequency and positional distribution of AGs in the transverse sinus was investigated on thin-sliced high-resolution MR images, and their appearance on diffusion-weighted MR images was evaluated. At least one AG was found in 107 of 151 subjects (70.9%). No statistically significant differences were noticed between males and females or between the right and left sides. No significant correlations between age and size or between age and the number of AGs were noted. On diffusion-weighted images, all AGs showed iso-intensity to normal brain tissue, which was higher than the reported signal intensity of arachnoid cyst and lower than that of epidermoids. In conclusion, AGs are normal structures that are frequently found in the cerebral venous sinuses on high-resolution MR images. Knowledge regarding their frequency and normal appearance would be helpful to avoid confusion between pathological processes and AGs. It is also important to know that AGs are frequently found even in the younger population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arachnoid / anatomy & histology*
  • Arachnoid / pathology
  • Child
  • Cranial Sinuses / anatomy & histology*
  • Cranial Sinuses / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Granulation Tissue / anatomy & histology*
  • Granulation Tissue / pathology
  • Humans
  • Labyrinth Diseases / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values