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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 602--607

Clinical utility of susceptibility-weighted imaging in vascular diseases of the brain

Department of Imaging Sciences and Interventional Radiology, SCTIMST, Trivandrum, India

Correspondence Address:
Chandrasekhran Kesavadas
Department of Imaging Sciences and Interventional Radiology, SCTIMST, Trivandrum - 695011
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.68667

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Susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) is a rapidly evolving technique that utilizes both the magnitude and phase information to obtain valuable information about susceptibility changes between tissues. SWI is very sensitive to the paramagnetic effects of deoxyhemoglobin. SWI plays an important role in the diagnostic evaluation and management of acute stroke. In addition, it also plays an important role in the imaging of patients with chronic arterial occlusion and in understanding the effects of chronic infarction, like incomplete infarction and cortical laminar necrosis. The hemodynamic status and oxygen extraction fraction can also be evaluated. SWI is useful in evaluating cerebral venous sinus thrombosis by demonstrating the hemorrhagic venous infarction and thrombus in the sinus and the cortical veins, as well as secondary phenomena like venous stasis in the form of engorged cortical and transmedullary veins and collateral slow flow. Low-flow vascular malformations that are not visualized well on conventional sequences are depicted in exquisite detail along with the venous components on SWI. SWI is used for evaluating cavernomas, developmental venous anomalies, telangiactasias, dural arteriovenous fistulas and the various components of arteriovenous malformations. It has also evolved as a noninvasive technique for evaluating various anomalies of the venous system without administering contrast. Vasculopathies and vasculitis are associated with cerebral microbleeds which are detected on SWI. On the basis of the additional information provided by SWI, it can be included in the routine brain imaging protocol.


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Online since 20th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow