Dynamic enhancement features of cavernous sinus cavernous hemangiomas on conventional contrast-enhanced MR imaging

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2008 Mar;29(3):577-81. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A0845. Epub 2007 Dec 7.


Background and purpose: The reported MR imaging characteristics of cavernous sinus cavernous hemangiomas (CSCHs) in the literature are nonspecific. The purpose of our study was to explore dynamic enhancement features of CSCHs on conventional contrast-enhanced MR imaging and to correlate these features with histopathologic subtypes.

Materials and methods: Twenty-one patients (8 male and 13 female; age range, 13-63 years; average age, 42.6 years) with surgically confirmed CSCHs were retrospectively investigated. Preoperative MR study was performed in all cases, consisting of T1-weighted axial imaging, T2-weighted axial imaging, T1-weighted sagittal imaging, and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted axial, sagittal, and coronal images.

Results: There were 4.8% (1/21) that showed homogeneous enhancement on all 3 contrast-enhanced sequences, whereas 95.2% (20/21) demonstrated heterogeneous enhancement on the first contrast-enhanced sequence. Among the 20 lesions, on subsequent contrast-enhanced sequences, 55.0% (11/20) showed homogeneous enhancement, whereas 35.0% (7/20) of lesions showed progressive contrast "filling in." The remaining 10% (2/20) exhibited no apparent enhancement changes. The 95.2% (20/21) of lesions with heterogeneous enhancement on the first contrast-enhanced sequence correlated with type B or type C pathologic findings, whereas 4.8% (1/21) with homogeneous enhancement correlated with type A pathologic findings. Among the 20 type B or type C lesions, 80% (16/20) achieved total or near-total resection.

Conclusion: Progressive contrast "filling in" in the tumors on conventional contrast-enhanced MR images can aid in differentiating between cavernous sinus lesions and suggest the diagnosis of cavernous hemangiomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Cavernous Sinus / pathology*
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA*
  • Hemangioma, Cavernous, Central Nervous System / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA