, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp 853–859 | Cite as

Detection of irreversible changes in susceptibility-weighted images after whole-brain irradiation of children

  • S. PetersEmail author
  • R. Pahl
  • A. Claviez
  • O. Jansen
Diagnostic Neuroradiology



Whole-brain irradiation is part of the therapy protocol for patients with medulloblastomas. Side effects and complications of radiation can be detected by follow-up magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Susceptibility-weighted images (SWI) can detect even very small amounts of residual blood that cannot be shown with conventional MRI. The purpose of this study was to determine when and where SWI lesions appear after whole-brain irradiation.


MRI follow-up of seven patients with medulloblastoma who were treated with whole-brain irradiation were analyzed retrospectively. SWI were part of the initial and follow-up MRI protocol. De novo SWI lesions, localization, and development over time were documented.


At time of irradiation, mean age of the patients was 13 years (±4 years). Earliest SWI lesions were detected 4 months after radiation treatment. In all patients, SWI lesions accumulated over time, although the individual number of SWI lesions varied. No specific dissemination of SWI lesions was observed.


Whole-brain irradiation can cause relatively early dot-like SWI lesions. The lesions are irreversible and accumulate over time. Histopathological correlation and clinical impact of these SWI lesions should be investigated.


SWI Medulloblastom Irradiation Pediatrics 



Susceptibility weighted imaging


World Health Organization


Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of NeuroradiologyUniversity of Schleswig-HolsteinKielGermany
  2. 2.Clinic for RadiooncologyUniversity of Schleswig-HolsteinKielGermany
  3. 3.Clinic for PaediatricsUniversity of Schleswig-HolsteinKielGermany

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