Purpose: To determine the detectability of intracerebral hematomas with MR imaging at 1.5 T and 0.5 T with fluid attenuated inversion recovery turbo spinecho (FLAIR) and gradient-echo sequences.
Material and methods: Twenty-seven intracerebral hematomas were created in 25 piglets by injection of venous blood into the brain through a burr hole. All were imaged with T2*-weighted gradient echo sequences (fast field echo, FFE), T2-weighted fluid attenuated inversion recovery turbo spin-echo sequences (FLAIR), T2-weighted turbo spin-echo (TSE) and T1-weighted spinecho sequences. Follow-up was performed on the 2nd, 4th and 10th postoperative days. Ten animals were additionally investigated with similar sequences at 0.5 T. Histologic correlation was obtained in all cases.
Results: T2* FFE sequences detected all acute intracerebral hematomas and demonstrated the size correctly at 1.5 T and 0.5 T. The conspicuity was better at 1.5 T. FLAIR sequences were unreliable in the hyperacute phase at 1.5 T: However. subarachnoid and intraventricular extension was best appreciated with FLAIR images. T2 TSE images were incapable of detecting paraventricular and subarachnoid hemorrhages, but clearly demonstrated intracerebral blood in other locations. TI-weighted images were insensitive to hemorrhage in the acute state but very useful in subacute and chronic hematomas.
Conclusion: The safe and reliable diagnosis of intracerebral hemorrhage is probably possible with MR imaging at 1.5 T and 0.5 T even of hematomas less than 90 min old, but requires the application of at least FLAIR, T2* FFE and T1 sequences and is therefore time consuming.