Diffusion-weighted echo-planar MRI of lacunar infarcts

Neuroradiology. 1998 Jul;40(7):448-51. doi: 10.1007/s002340050621.


We studied 35 patients with lacunar infarcts, using diffusion-weighted echo-planar imaging (DW-EPI) at 1.5 T. The relative apparent diffusion coefficient ratio (ADCR) of each lesion was calculated and lesion conspicuity on DW-EPI was compared to that on images acquired with fast fluid-attenuated inversion recovery and T2-weighted fast spin-echo sequences. Acute small infarcts (within 3 days) were identified with DW-EPI as an area of decreased ADCR (range 0.33-0.87; mean 0.67) and high signal, subacute small infarcts (4-30 days) as a high-signal or isointense areas of decreased or nearly normal ADCR (0.54-0.98; 0.73), and chronic small infarcts (> 30 days) as low- or high-signal areas of nearly normal or increased ADCR (0.97-1.92; 1.32). In three patients, small infarcts of the brain stem in the hyperacute phase (within 6 h) were seen only with DW-EPI. In five patients, fresh small infarcts adjacent to multiple old infarcts could be distinguished only with DW-EPI.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis*
  • Echo-Planar Imaging* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Time Factors