Fellows’ Journal Club
This is a retrospective review of the medical records of 706 consecutive patients who were treated with irradiation for primary brain tumors at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions between June 1995–January 2010. The authors found that the appearance of hyperintense dentate nuclei (HDN) is likely permanent, given the long follow-up time of the study, and a significant association between HDN and repeated contrast-enhanced MR studies. A significant increase in the likelihood of HDN occurred after 4 or more enhanced scans, and total dose of 77 ml of gadolinium contrast agent. They found no association between radiation exposure and HDN.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
A hyperintense appearance of the dentate nucleus on T1-weighted MR images has been related to various clinical conditions, but the etiology remains indeterminate. We aimed to investigate the possible associations between a hyperintense appearance of the dentate nucleus on T1-weighted MR images in patients exposed to radiation and factors including, but not limited to, the cumulative number of contrast-enhanced MR images, amount of gadolinium administration, dosage of ionizing radiation, and patient demographics.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The medical records of 706 consecutive patients who were treated with brain irradiation at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions between 1995 and 2010 were blindly reviewed by 2 readers.
One hundred eighty-four subjects were included for dentate nuclei analysis. Among the 184 subjects who cumulatively underwent 2677 MR imaging studies following intravenous gadolinium administration, 103 patients had hyperintense dentate nuclei on precontrast T1-weighted MR images. The average number of gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging studies performed in the group with normal dentate nuclei was significantly lower than that of the group with hyperintense dentate nuclei. The average follow-up time was 62.5 months. No significant difference was observed between hyperintense and normal dentate nuclei groups in terms of exposed radiation dose, serum creatinine and calcium/phosphate levels, patient demographics, history of chemotherapy, and strength of the scanner. No dentate nuclei abnormalities were found on the corresponding CT scans of patients with hyperintense dentate nuclei (n = 44). No dentate nuclei abnormalities were found in 53 healthy volunteers.
Repeat performance of gadolinium-enhanced studies likely contributes to a long-standing hyperintense appearance of dentate nuclei on precontrast T1-weighted-MR images.
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