Discrimination between different types of white matter edema with diffusion-weighted MR imaging

J Magn Reson Imaging. Nov-Dec 1993;3(6):863-8. doi: 10.1002/jmri.1880030612.


Brain edema can be classified into three categories: vasogenic, cytotoxic, and interstitial. The mechanism of edema is thought to be different in each type. The authors studied the movement of water molecules in each type of white matter edema in a rat model by using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Conventional T2-weighted imaging did not allow distinction between the three types of white matter edema; the three types of edema were, however, distinguished by using diffusion-weighted imaging. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of water was different in each type of edema. Water molecules in cytotoxic edema induced by triethyl-tin intoxication showed a smaller and less anisotropic ADC than in normal white matter. In contrast, water in vasogenic edema induced by cold injury had a larger and more anisotropic ADC than in normal white matter. Water in interstitial edema due to kaolin-induced hydrocephalus had an anisotropic and very large ADC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Edema / diagnosis*
  • Brain Edema / etiology
  • Brain Edema / pathology
  • Cold Temperature
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diffusion
  • Hydrocephalus / complications
  • Kaolin
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Models, Structural
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Triethyltin Compounds / toxicity


  • Triethyltin Compounds
  • Kaolin