Pediatric brain MRI in neurofibromatosis type I
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Neurofibromatosis (NF) is the most common of the phakomatoses, with a prevalence of 1 in 3–4,000. Many organ systems can be affected. In addition to multiple peripheral neurofibromas, NF I predisposed to CNS tumors including optic glioma, astrocytoma and plexiform neurofibroma. The purpose of this pictorial review is to illustrate characteristic brain MR imaging lesions in children with NF I and to give some recommendations about diagnostic imaging procedures in children suffering from NF I. Typical findings in brain MRI are hyperintense lesion on T2-weighted images, so-called unknown bright objects, which may be useful as an additional imaging criterion for NF I. Contrast administration is necessary in MR studies to maximize tumor detection and characterization, to add confidence to the diagnosis of benign probable myelin vacuolization, and to document stability of neoplasm on follow-up examinations. We recommend to perform serial MR imaging in children every 12 months. The frequency of follow-up in children with known brain tumors will vary with the tumor grade, biological activity and treatment.
KeywordsNeurofibromatosis type I Unknown bright object Optic glioma Pilocytic astrocytoma
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