, Volume 59, Issue 8, pp 797–802 | Cite as

Sensitivity of susceptibility-weighted imaging in detecting developmental venous anomalies and associated cavernomas and microhemorrhages in children

  • Allen Young
  • Andrea Poretti
  • Thangamadhan Bosemani
  • Reema Goel
  • Thierry A. G. M. Huisman
Paediatric Neuroradiology



Developmental venous anomalies (DVA) are common neuroimaging abnormalities that are traditionally diagnosed by contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images as the gold standard. We aimed to evaluate the sensitivity of SWI in detecting DVA and associated cavernous malformations (CM) and microhemorrhages in children in order to determine if SWI may replace contrast-enhanced MRI sequences.


Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images were used as diagnostic gold standard for DVA. The presence of DVA was qualitatively assessed on axial SWI and T2-weighted images by an experienced pediatric neuroradiologist. In addition, the presence of CM and microhemorrhages was evaluated on SWI and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images.


Fifty-seven children with DVA (34 males, mean age at neuroimaging 11.2 years, range 1 month to 17.9 years) were included in this study. Forty-nine out of 57 DVA were identified on SWI (sensitivity of 86%) and 16 out of 57 DVA were detected on T2-weighted images (sensitivity of 28.1%). General anesthesia-related changes in brain hemodynamics and oxygenation were most likely responsible for the majority of SWI false negative. CM were detected in 12 patients on axial SWI, but only in six on contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images. Associated microhemorrhages could be identified in four patients on both axial SWI and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images, although more numerous and conspicuous on SWI.


SWI can identify DVA and associated cavernous malformations and microhemorrhages with high sensitivity, obviating the need for contrast-enhanced MRI sequences.


Developmental venous anomaly Children Brain Magnetic resonance imaging Susceptibility-weighted imaging 



We would like to thank Dr. Bruno P. Soares for his critical review of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was received for this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards and patient consent

All procedures performed in the studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of retrospective study formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

For this type of retrospective study formal consent is not required.

Supplementary material

234_2017_1867_MOESM1_ESM.docx (29 kb)
Supplemental Table 1 (DOCX 29 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allen Young
    • 1
  • Andrea Poretti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thangamadhan Bosemani
    • 1
  • Reema Goel
    • 1
  • Thierry A. G. M. Huisman
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric Radiology and Pediatric Neuroradiology, The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological ScienceThe Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s CenterBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurogeneticsKennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA

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