A characteristic feature of acute haematomas in the brain on echo-planar diffusion-weighted imaging
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Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) is used in the diagnosis of acute ischaemic disease of the brain, but it is not clear whether or not it can be used to differentiate an acute haematoma from an infarct. Our purpose was to identify any characteristic feature of acute haematomas which can be recognised on DWI and to evaluate the usefulness of DWI in acute cerebral stroke. We examined nine patients with acute haemorrhage using CT and MRI including DWI. We measured the volume and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of the haematomas. All showed heterogeneous signal on DWI, and the centre of the large (>20 ml) haematomas especially a mixed pattern with high and low signal. The characteristic feature of acute haematomas was a peripheral low-signal region, found in all subjects regardless of the size of the haematoma; acute infarcts did not show this. This low-signal rim on DWI may be useful for differentiating an acute haematoma from an infarct.
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