'Do not touch' lesions of the skull base

J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2014 Aug;58(4):458-63. doi: 10.1111/1754-9485.12195. Epub 2014 Jun 25.


Imaging of the skull base presents many challenges due to its anatomical complexity, numerous normal variants and lack of familiarity to many radiologists. As the skull base is a region which is not amenable to physical examination and as lesions of the skull base are generally difficult to biopsy and even more difficult to operate on, the radiologist plays a major role in directing patient management via accurate image interpretation. Knowledge of the skull base should not be limited to neuroradiologists and head and neck radiologists, however, as the central skull base is routinely included in the field of view when imaging the brain, cervical spine, or head and neck with computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, and hence, its nuances should be familiar to general radiologists as well. We herein review the imaging findings of a subcategory of lesions of the central skull base, the 'do not touch' lesions.

Keywords: head and neck imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; neuroradiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arachnoid Cysts / diagnosis*
  • Fibrous Dysplasia of Bone / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Meningocele / diagnosis*
  • Skull Base / diagnostic imaging*
  • Skull Base / pathology*
  • Skull Base Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods