Brain Imaging with MRI and CT: An Image Pattern Approach

Rumboldt Z, Castillo M, Huang B Rossi A, eds. Brain Imaging with MRI and CT: An Image Pattern Approach. CAMBRIDGE Medicine; 2013; 428 pgs.; $135.00.

Brain Imaging with MRI and CT: An Image Pattern Approach is an image-focused book that deviates from the standard organization of pathologies according to underlying etiology and provides a unique, pattern-based approach to differential diagnosis, simulating the thought process of radiologists in real life. The book is co-edited by Drs. Z Rumboldt, M Castillo, B Huang and A Rossi, with contributions from 10 other prominent neuroradiologists. It targets primarily radiology residents, neuroradiology fellows and general radiologists but also proves useful for clinicians and neurosurgeons alike.

The book is divided into seven sections: Bilateral predominantly symmetric abnormalities; Sellar, parasellar, and midline lesions; Parenchymal defects or abnormal volume; Abnormalities without significant mass effect (further divided into “primarily non-enhancing” and “primarily enhancing”); Primarily extra-axial focal space-occupying lesions; Primarily intra-axial masses (further divided into “typically without blood products” and “typically with blood products”); and Intracranial calcifications. The sections are indexed using separate colors, and interestingly, the index has cross-references to relevant cases from the different sections.

There are a total of 204 diseases/entities. Each entity is limited to two pages, one for the images and the other for the text. The images are remarkable for their exceptionally high quality. The classic findings of each entity are excellently depicted and clearly labeled and annotated. There is an average of six images per case and a total of more than 1,500 images. The book deals primarily with routine CT and MR imaging; however, on a few occasions, examples from MR spectroscopy, MR/CT perfusion, MR/CT angiography/venography, and even CSF flow studies are included.

Each diagnostic entity/disease is discussed under four subheadings: Specific imaging findings, pertinent clinical findings, differential diagnosis, and background.  The text is focused and concise. It is not intended to provide a comprehensive review of each topic (for that matter, no one book can provide that), and hence, the imaging findings are limited to their classic manifestations. Virtually every manifestation described has a correlate on the provided images. The differential diagnosis is cross-referenced to other cases within the book, and the clinical findings and background provide applicable, current, and straight-to-the-point information.

In summary, this book provides a practical, pattern-based approach to brain pathologies. It is remarkable for its organization and concise, current information.  But I think the best aspect of this book is the large number of images (more than 1,500) and the superb image quality which, by far, surpasses that in the vast majority of radiology textbooks. It is valuable for every day clinical practice as well as for preparing for radiology board and CAQ examinations. I give this book a high recommendation and hope that the editors/publishers provide us with an electronic version soon.


Brain Imaging with MRI and CT: An Image Pattern Approach