Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 169–177 | Cite as

Primary central nervous system lymphomas (PCNSL): MRI features at presentation in 100 patients

  • Wilhelm KükerEmail author
  • Thomas Nägele
  • Agnieska Korfel
  • Stefan Heckl
  • Eckhard Thiel
  • Michael Bamberg
  • Michael Weller
  • Ulrich Herrlinger
Clinical Study


To avoid an unnecessary extend of surgery in primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL), the diagnosis should be suspected after MRI.

Pre-treatment MRI examinations of 100 immunologically competent patients with biopsy-proven PCNSL were evaluated. All patients had T2- and T1-weighted images with contrast enhancement. Diffusion-weighted MRI (DW-MRI) was available in 15, proton-MR-spectroscopy (1H-MRS) in four patients.

The number of lesions ranged from one (n=65 patients) to eight (n=1) with a mean of 1.7. The most frequent locations were the cerebral hemispheres (n=66), the basal ganglia (n=27) and the corpus callosum (n=24). In the 65 patients with a solitary lesion, hemispheric lesions were most frequent (n=23) followed by corpus callosum (n=18). Contrast enhancement was found in all but one patient. 1H-MRS revealed a uniformly pathologic pattern of metabolite concentrations in all patients.

Characteristic imaging features of PCNSL are contrast-enhancing lesions with a diameter of at least 15 mm in contact with the subarachnoid space. DW-MRI and proton spectroscopy may aid in differential diagnosis.


brain neoplasm DW-MRI lymphoma MRI PCNSL spectroscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilhelm Küker
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
    Email author
  • Thomas Nägele
    • 1
  • Agnieska Korfel
    • 5
  • Stefan Heckl
    • 1
  • Eckhard Thiel
    • 5
  • Michael Bamberg
    • 4
  • Michael Weller
    • 3
  • Ulrich Herrlinger
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Neuroradiology, Medical SchoolUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeuroradiologyRadcliffe InfirmaryOxfordUK
  3. 3.Dep-artment of Neurology, Medical SchoolUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical SchoolUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  5. 5.Department of Hematology and OncologyUniversity Hospital Benjamin FranklinBerlinGermany
  6. 6.Department of NeuroradiologyThe Radcliffe InfirmaryOxfordUK

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