Differentiation of cavernous hemangioma from schwannoma of the orbit: a dynamic MRI study

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004 Dec;183(6):1799-804. doi: 10.2214/ajr.183.6.01831799.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurilemmoma / diagnosis*
  • Orbital Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA