MRI findings in neuro-behçet's disease

Clin Radiol. 2001 Jun;56(6):485-94. doi: 10.1053/crad.2000.0675.


Aim: To evaluate the pattern and site of involvement in neuro-Behçet's disease (NBD).

Materials and methods: Twenty-one patients with NBD were evaluated. Using 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), T1-weighted axial and sagittal images, gadolinium enhanced axial and coronal images and T2-weighted axial images were obtained.

Results: The brainstem, basal ganglia, cerebral white matter, internal capsule, thalamus and spinal cord were involved in eighteen, nine, nine, seven, six and two patients, respectively. In nine patients with cerebral white matter involvement, four had subcortical involvement and three had periventricular involvement, in addition to two patients with focal deep white matter lesions. Among the brainstem lesions, pons involvement was seen in fourteen patients, all had ventrally located lesions, and nine had tegmental involvement. Midbrain involvement was seen in fourteen patients; the cerebral peduncle was involved in 11 of these. Five patients had brainstem atrophy: two cases were demonstrated at initial MRI, the other three cases were seen on follow-up MRI. Pyramidal signs, the most common neurological signs, were demonstrated in fourteen patients. Follow-up MRI was obtained 10 days to 20 months after the initial MRI in eight cases; all showed changes in size, shape and site of involvement. After gadolinium enhancement, thirteen patients demonstrated mottled non-confluent enhancement in the brainstem (eight patients), posterior limb of the internal capsule (three patients), pachymeninges (two patients) and spinal cord (two patients).

Conclusion: NBD manifests a reversible course, but chronic NBD may result in brainstem atrophy. Characteristic involvement along the corticospinal tract is well correlated with neurological signs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Ganglia
  • Behcet Syndrome / complications
  • Behcet Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Brain Stem
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / complications
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal Capsule
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Meninges
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / complications
  • Spinal Cord Diseases / diagnosis
  • Thalamus