Advanced magnetic resonance imaging of cortical laminar necrosis in patients with stroke

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Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the novel advanced magnetic resonance imaging findings of acute stage cortical laminar necrosis developing after complicated cardiovascular or abdominal surgery. Materials and methods: This institutional review board-approved study included patients with postoperative stroke due to cortical laminar necrosis imaged with magnetic resonance in the acute stage. Brain magnetic resonance imaging examinations were obtained on a 3T magnetic resonance scanner within 48 hours of the neurological symptoms, including diffusion-weighted images (b value, 1000 s/mm2) and arterial spin labelling using a pseudo-continuous arterial spin labelling method in four patients. Conventional and advanced magnetic resonance images were analysed to assess the imaging features in acute stage cortical laminar necrosis. Results: The final population consisted of 14 patients (seven men and seven women, mean age 61 years, range 32–79 years) diagnosed with stroke and acute phase cortical laminar necrosis. All the patients presented with cortical lesions showing restricted diffusion on diffusion-weighted images and hypointensity on the apparent diffusion coefficient map. Cortical hyperintensity on T2-weighted or fluid-attenuated inversion recovery images was found in three (21%) and six (43%) patients, respectively. Reduced perfusion was noted in three out of four patients imaged with arterial spin labelling, while in one case no corresponding perfusion abnormality was noted on the arterial spin labelling maps. Arterial spin labelling abnormalities were much more extensive than diffusion restriction in two patients, and they were associated with a poor outcome. Conclusion: Cortical hyperintense abnormalities on diffusion-weighted imaging may be the only sign of developing cortical laminar necrosis injury. The acquisition of arterial spin labelling helps to identify perfusion alterations and the extension of the ischaemic injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-437
Number of pages7
JournalNeuroradiology Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019


  • arterial spin labelling
  • Cortical laminar necrosis
  • diffusion-weighted imaging
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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