Late delayed radiation-induced cerebral Arteriopathy by high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging: a case report

BMC Neurol. 2019 Oct 2;19(1):232. doi: 10.1186/s12883-019-1453-9.


Background: Radiation therapy can cause cerebral arteriopahty, resulting in ischemic stroke. We document late-delayed cerebral arteriopathy by high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HR-MRI) in a middle aged man who had cranial irradiation 19 years earlier.

Case presentation: A 45-year-old man was diagnosed with frontal lobe glioma 19 years ago and was treated with radiation after surgical resection. He was admitted to our hospital with an acute cerebral infarction in November 8, 2017. Traditional MRI examination and HR-MRI (sagittal, reconstruction of coronal and axial) were performed at admission. He was treated with prednisone (30 mg/day) and clinical symptoms disappeared after 3 months by telephone follow-up. Our patient complained of dizziness and blurred vision and traditional MRI examination indicated acute ischemic stroke in temporal lobe and occipital lobe and microbleeds. In order to define the exact mechanism of stroke, blood tests, auto-immune screening and thrombophilia were performed and results were normal. Electrocardiography and echocardiography were negative and cardiogenic cerebral embolism was excluded. In cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination, level of albumin and IgG were elevated. HR-MRI showed vessel wall thickening in T1-weighted imaging, narrow lumen in proton density imaging and vessel wall concentric enhancement in contrast-enhanced T1- weighted imaging. Combined with radiotherapy history, the patient was diagnosed with radioactive vasculitis.

Conclusion: Radiation-induced cerebrovascular damages could be a lasting progress, which we cannot ignore. HR-MRI can provide sensitive and accurate diagnostic assessment of radiation-induced arteritis and may be a useful tool for the screening of causes of cryptogenic stroke.

Keywords: Arteriopathy; High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging; Radiotherapy; Vasculitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Cranial Irradiation / adverse effects*
  • Glioma / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiation Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / etiology*