Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in Wilson's disease

Neuroradiology. 1993;35(2):130-3. doi: 10.1007/BF00593969.


Eight patients with Wilson's disease (WD) were studied by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain; seven also underwent X-ray computed tomography (CT) of the brain. We describe the changes in the brain and try to correlate them with the clinical manifestations and progress of the disease. Six patients were symptomatic, with predominantly neurological problems. Two were asymptomatic, diagnosed upon screening siblings of index cases. Of the six symptomatic patients, five had basal ganglia lesions, combined in four with brain stem changes; in one with only brain stem abnormalities, clinical findings were minimal despite pronounced MRI changes. In three patients MRI abnormalities regressed following chelating therapy. MRI can contribute to documentation of early neurological involvement in WD, especially in patients with no abnormalities on CT. However, MRI changes may not correlate with clinical presentation or response to therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hepatolenticular Degeneration / diagnostic imaging
  • Hepatolenticular Degeneration / pathology*
  • Hepatolenticular Degeneration / therapy
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed