Purpose: To characterize gliomatosis cerebri on computed tomographic (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) images.
Materials and methods: MR and CT studies of 22 patients with cerebral gliomatosis were reviewed retrospectively. Tumor was confirmed with autopsy (n=5) or biopsy. Distribution and extent of disease were assessed, and disease progression was followed.
Results: Tumor involved at least two lobes of the brain in all patients, with extension to the corpus callosum in 12, basal ganglia and thalamus in 17, brain stem in three, and cerebellum in two patients. Widespread invasion with hyperintensity was noted on proton-density- and T2-weighted MR images. At CT, areas of hypo- or isoattenuation were noted, and no contrast enhancement occurred. Extent of tumor was greater on MR images than on concurrent CT scans in all patients. The MR findings closely correlated with the autopsy findings.
Conclusion: Gliomatosis cerebri is best detected with MR imaging. The pattern is infiltrative with enlargement of cerebral structures.