Journal of Neurology

, Volume 251, Issue 9, pp 1050–1059 | Cite as

Clinicoradiologic subtypes of Marchiafava-Bignami disease

  • Alexander Heinrich
  • Uwe Runge
  • Alexander V. Khaw


The clinical diagnosis of Marchiafava-Bignami disease (MBD) has considerably changed during recent decades with brain MRI providing the opportunity of a reliable in-vivo diagnosis. However, semiologic and neuroimaging characteristics of the currently known spectrum of MBD have not been investigated systematically, and knowledge of clinicoradiologic associations is sketchy. We report an illustrative case with limited callosal involvement on MRI and a favorable outcome and have reviewed literature on clinical and radiologic features in 50 cases of MBD diagnosed in vivo since 1985. Our reviewed data suggest the differentiation of two clinicoradiologic subtypes: Type A is characterized by major impairment of consciousness, T2-hyperintense swelling of the entire corpus callosum on early MRI and poor outcome. Type B shows at most slight impairment of consciousness, partial callosal lesions on MRI and a favorable outcome. Differentiation of these clinicoradiologic subtypes may help resolve inconsistencies of the established clinical classification resulting from new insights into the clinical course and prognosis of MBD by structural neuroimaging.

Key words

Marchiafava-Bignami disease classification subtypes 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Heinrich
    • 1
  • Uwe Runge
    • 1
  • Alexander V. Khaw
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.The Neurological Institute of New YorkColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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