Diffusion-weighted MR imaging of the brain

Radiology. 2000 Nov;217(2):331-45. doi: 10.1148/radiology.217.2.r00nv24331.


Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging provides image contrast that is different from that provided by conventional MR techniques. It is particularly sensitive for detection of acute ischemic stroke and differentiation of acute stroke from other processes that manifest with sudden neurologic deficits. Diffusion-weighted MR imaging also provides adjunctive information for other cerebral diseases including neoplasms, intracranial infections, traumatic brain injury, and demyelinating processes. Because stroke is common and in the differential diagnosis of most acute neurologic events, diffusion-weighted MR imaging should be considered an essential sequence, and its use in most brain MR studies is recommended.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Stroke / diagnosis