Diagnosis of Sturge-Weber syndrome: comparison of the efficacy of CT and MR imaging in 14 cases

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1992 Apr;158(4):867-71. doi: 10.2214/ajr.158.4.1546607.


Sturge-Weber syndrome is a neurocutaneous syndrome that includes facial and leptomeningeal angiomas. Imaging findings include cerebral lobar atrophy, brain calcifications, choroid plexus enlargement, cranial diploë prominence, and venous abnormalities. We compared the efficacy of CT and MR imaging in making the diagnosis in 14 consecutive patients. CT, with and without contrast enhancement, was performed in all patients, and 11 of the 14 had MR imaging (eight before and after administration of IV gadopentetate dimeglumine). MR imaging was better than CT in showing the extent and degree of brain parenchymal atrophy, the presumed ischemic changes affecting the gray and white matter, and the cranial diploetic prominence on the affected side. MR imaging after contrast administration permitted a better evaluation of the extent and patency of the leptomeningeal angiomatous malformation and the parenchymal venous anomalies. CT was better than MR imaging in showing the presence and extent of cortical calcifications. Enhanced CT and MR imaging were equal in evaluating the prominence of the ipsilateral choroid plexus. Our experience indicates that contrast-enhanced MR imaging is the method of choice in the diagnosis of Sturge-Weber syndrome. Unenhanced CT should be used only if MR findings are normal, to exclude the presence of intracranial calcifications.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Sturge-Weber Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Sturge-Weber Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*