Brain abscess and necrotic or cystic brain tumor: discrimination with signal intensity on diffusion-weighted MR imaging

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1998 Dec;171(6):1487-90. doi: 10.2214/ajr.171.6.9843275.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in signal intensity between brain abscesses and necrotic or cystic tumors on diffusion-weighted MR imaging.

Conclusion: Five consecutive patients with proven brain abscesses and four patients with proven cystic or necrotic brain tumors were prospectively evaluated with diffusion-weighted imaging. On diffusion-weighted imaging, brain abscesses showed markedly hyperintense signal in all five patients, whereas necrotic or cystic brain tumors revealed hypointense signal in all four patients. Diffusion-weighted imaging may allow the differentiation of brain abscess from necrotic or cystic brain tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Abscess / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Cysts / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Necrosis