Magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of the brainstem

Radiology. 1984 Mar;150(3):705-12. doi: 10.1148/radiology.150.3.6695071.


Magnetic resonance (MR) images of the brainstem region from 100 normal or asymptomatic individuals were reviewed in addition to those of 17 patients with intra-axial brainstem lesions and 15 patients with extra-axial masses around the brainstem. MR was able to demonstrate consistently the normal anatomy of the brainstem and adjacent cisterns, though the distinction between gray and white matter was seldom possible with the present technology. Masses in and around the brainstem were all accurately identified on MR and its sensitivity was superior to that of x-ray computed tomography (CT). These study results show that despite its technical limitations, MR is presently the examination of choice for the evaluation of brainstem abnormalities and eventually it will undoubtedly replace metrizamide CT cisternography.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Stem / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain Stem / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged