Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the capability of dynamic contrast MRI to differentiate hemangioma from schwannoma of the orbit.
Materials and methods: Sixteen patients (three males and 13 females; mean age, 39 +/- 17.3 [SD] years; age range, 10-71 years) with unilateral orbital tumors, including eight cavernous hemangiomas and eight schwannomas, were examined. In addition to conventional MRI, we performed a dynamic contrast study (fast spin-echo sequence, 20-sec interval) after bolus administration of the contrast material (gadopentetate dimeglumine, 0.1 mmol/kg). We evaluated the features of the contrast enhancement spread pattern and the tumors' time-intensity curves.
Results: In the early phase, all the hemangiomas started the enhancement from one point or portion, although all the schwannomas started the enhancement from a wide area. The difference in the contrast-enhancement spread pattern features between the two types of tumors was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). The gradient of the time-intensity curve did not show a significant difference.
Conclusion: Hemangioma and schwannoma of the orbit can be differentiated by the contrast-enhancement spread pattern on dynamic MRI.