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Free Content Demyelinating Disorders of the Adult Central Nervous System: A Pictorial Review of MR Imaging Findings

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CNS demyelinating disorders encompass a wide spectrum of syndromes affecting the integrity of myelin in the brain. These disorders can be classified into primary and secondary processes with secondary causes being further subclassified into infectious, alcohol-related, iatrogenic/toxic, and vascular, depending on the etiology. Unfortunately, the imaging appearances of the resulting white matter lesions are often nonspecific in nature. An understanding of the clinical features and parenchymal patterns of involvement of demyelinating diseases is essential to permit the radiologist to generate a narrow differential diagnosis, which the clinician can refine further with knowledge of the patient's history and laboratory testing. This pictorial review presents the imaging features of demyelinating disorders. Imaging features allowing their optimal differentiation will be discussed.
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Keywords: ADEM = acute disseminated encephalomyelitis; AIDS = acquired immune deficiency syndrome; CADASIL = cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy; CNS = central nervous system; DWI = diffusion-weighted imaging; FLAIR = fluid-attenuated inversion recovery; HAART = highly active antiretroviral therapy; HIV = human immunodeficiency virus; IRIS = immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome; IgG = immunoglobulin G; MS = multiple sclerosis; NMO = neuromyelitis optica; PML = progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy; PRES = posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Neurographics is the peer-reviewed, bimonthly educational journal of the American Society of Neuroradiology. The journal comprises articles selected from material presented at the ASNR Annual Meeting. Neurographics also publishes other high-quality submissions that are primarily educational and have a high emphasis on a pictorial approach. Neurographics offers CME credit for reading review articles and completing quiz-based self-assessment activities.

    Visit to view all available CME courses.

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