MR imaging of epidermoid cysts

Neuroradiology. 1987;29(4):333-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00348910.


After a short review of literature, MRI assessments of four cases of epidermoid cysts (EC) are reported. EC, (characterized in computed tomography by hypo or iso-density areas non-enhanced by contrast), are characterized in MRI by: 1) an important variability of signal intensity between the different cases, and sometimes between the different parts of the same cyst, 2) the absence of edema in surrounding parenchyma, in spite of important mass effect, 3) well defined limits, permitting certainty of the extra-cerebral nature of this tumor, 4) the presence of calcifications easily perceptible in MRI. It is proposed that the variability of signal intensity of EC is caused by different relaxation time values corresponding to different concentrations of keratin, cholesterol and water content.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Brain Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Epidermal Cyst / diagnosis*
  • Epidermal Cyst / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed