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Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in early stage of 5-fluorouracil-induced leukoencephalopathy

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Tha KK, Terae S, Sugiura M, Nishioka T, Oka M, Kudoh K, Kaneko K, Miyasaka K. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in early stage of 5-fluorouracil-induced leukoencephalopathy.

Acta Neurol Scand 2002: 106: 379–386. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2002.

We report a case of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-induced leukoencephalopathy in which magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), was performed serially. The initial T2-weighted and FLAIR images showed diffuse mild hyperintensity in bilateral deep cerebral white matter and corpus callosum, which on T1WI appeared as non-enhanced faint hypointensity. Isotropic DWI disclosed the abnormality as well-conspicuous diffuse hyperintensity with decreased ADC. Serial studies revealed that majority of the abnormal signal intensity on these sequences resolved, and the decreased ADC values approached normal. Some hyperintensity remained in the deep cerebral white matter and the splenium, but no further significant ADC change after normalization was noted. Measurement of ADC along the three orthogonal directions showed the presence of directional dependence of diffusion throughout the length of study. These findings suggest that early stage of 5-FU-induced leukoencephalopathy is associated with reversible restricted diffusion and preservation of anisotropy. Diffusion-weighted imaging may be useful for the diagnosis.

Keywords: 5-fluorouracil; anisotropy; diffusion; leukoencephalopathy; magnetic resonance imaging

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Radiology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Japan

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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