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Free Content Hypertrophic Olivary Degeneration: Review of Anatomy, Pathology, and Imaging

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Hypertrophic olivary degeneration is a unique type of transneural degeneration caused by a variety of primary lesions in the dento-rubro-olivary pathway or Guillain-Mollaret triangle. Inferior olivary nucleus hypertrophy may lead to misdiagnosis of hypertrophic olivary degeneration as a medullary mass lesion. Hypertrophic olivary degeneration could be ipsilateral, contralateral, or bilateral on the basis of the location of the primary lesion and usually presents at 6 months or later from the detection of the primary lesion. Understanding the anatomy of the Guillain-Mollaret triangle and its clinical and radiologic implications is very important for diagnosing hypertrophic olivary degeneration and differentiating it from other intrinsic medullary lesions. Correct diagnosis is crucial to avoid unnecessary investigations and clinical concern.

Learning Objective: To identify the pathways of the anatomic Guillain-Mollaret triangle and discuss the pathologic and MR imaging findings of hypertrophic olivary degeneration.
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Keywords: HOD = hypertrophic olivary degeneration; ION = inferior olivary nucleus; SCP = superior cerebellar peduncle

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2014

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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