, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 151–155 | Cite as

Incidental high-intensity foci in white matter on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging

Frequency and clinical significance in symptom-free adults
  • T. Horikoshi
  • S. Yagi
  • A. Fukamachi
Diagnostic Neuroradiology


The clinical significance of high-intensity foci in the white matter on magnetic resonance images of the brain was studied in 351 adults. The foci frequently occurred in the corona radiata and centrum semiovale. The frequency and extent of the foci were closely related to age and to a previous history of cerebrovascular disease. Patients without such a history but with risk factors for cerebrovascular disease tended to have these foci more frequently than those without risk factors.

Key words

Magnetic resonance imaging White matter lesions Cerebrovascular disease Age 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Awad IA, Spetzler RF, Hodak JA, Awad CA, Carey R (1986) Incidental subcortical lesions identified on magnetic resonance imaging in the elderly. I. Correlation with age and cerebrovascular risk factors. Stroke 17:1084–1089Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fazekas F (1989) Magnetic resonance signal abnormalities in asymptomatic individuals: their incidental and functional correlates. Eur Neurol 29:164–168Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hendrie HC, Farlow MR, Austrom MG, Edwards MK, Williams MA (1989) Foci of increased T2 signal intensity on brain MR scans of healthy elderly subjects. AJNR 10:703–707Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hunt AL, Orrison WW, Yeo RA, Haaland KY, Rhyne RL, Garry PJ, Rosenberg GA (1989) Clinical significance of MRI white matter lesions in the elderly. Neurology 39:1470–1474Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kertesz A, Black SE, Tokar G, Benke T, Carr T, Nicholson L (1988) Periventricular and subcortical hyperintensities on magnetic resonance imaging. Arch Neurol 45:404–408Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lechner H, Schmidt R, Bertha G, Justich E, Offenbacher H, Schneider G (1988) Nuclear magnetic resonance image white matter lesions and risk factors for stroke in normal individuals. Stroke 19:263–265Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sullivan P, Pary R, Telang F, Rifai AH, Zubenko GS (1991) Risk factors for white matter changes detected by magnetic resonance imaging in the elderly. Stroke 21:1424–1428Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wahlund LO, Agartz I, Almqvist O, Basun H, Foessell L, Saaf J, Wetterberg L (1990) The brain in healthy aged individuals: MR imaging. Radiology 17:675–679Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Swieten JC, Hijdra A, Koudstaal PL, Gijin J (1990) Grading white matter lesions on CT and MRI: a simple scale. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 53:1080–1083Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Braffman BH, Zimmerman RA, Trojanowski JQ, Gonatas NK, Hickey WF, Schlaepfer WW (1988) Brain MR: pathologic correlation with gross and histopathology. 1. Lacunar infarction and Virchow-Robin spaces. AJNR 151:551–558Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Heier LA, Bauer CJ, Schwartz L, Zimmerman RD, Morgello S, Deck MDF (1989) Large Virchow-Robin spaces: MR-clinical correlation. AJNR 10:929–936Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jungreis CA, Kanal E, Hirsch WL, Martinez AJ, Moossy J (1988) Normal perivascular spaces mimicking lacunar infarction: MR imaging. Radiology 169:101–104Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sze G, Armond SJD, Brant-Zawadzki M, Davis RL, Norman D, Newton TH (1986) Foci of MRI signal (pseudo lesions) anterior to the frontal horns: histologic correlations of a normal finding. AJNR 7:381–387Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Uhlenbrock D, Sehlen S (1989) The value of T1-weighted images in the differentiation between MS, white matter lesions, and subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy (SAE). Neuroradiology 31:203–212Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kozachuk WE, DeCarli C, Schapiro MB, Wabner EE, Rapaport SI, Horwitz B (1990) White matter hyperintensities in dementia of Alzheimer's type and healthy subjects without cerebrovascular risk factors. Arch Neurol 47:1306–1310Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Zimmerman RD, Fleming CA, Lee BCP, Saint-Louis LA, Deck MDF (1986) Periventricular hyperintensity as seen by magnetic resonance: prevalence and significance. AJNR 7:13–20Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bradley WG, Waluch V, Brant-Zawadzki M, Yadley RA, Wycoff RR (1984) Patchy, periventricular white matter lesions in the elderly: a common observation during NMR imaging. Noninv Med Imaging 1:35–41Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gerard G, Weisberg LA (1986) MRI periventricular lesions in adults. Neurology 36:998–1001Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Awad IA, Johnson PC, Spetzler RF, Hodak JA (1986) Incidental subcortical lesions identified on magnetic resonance imaging in the elderly. II. Postmortem pathological correlations. Stroke 17: 1090–1097Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Grafton ST, Sumi SM, Stimac GK, Alvord EC, Shaw CM, Nochlin D (1991) Comparison of postmortem magnetic resonance imaging and neuropathologic findings in the cerebral white matter. Arch Neurol 48:293–298Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Fein G, Dyke CV, Davenport L, Turetsky B, Brant-Zawadzki M, Zatz L, Dillon W, Valk P (1991) Preservation of normal cognitive functioning in elderly subjects with extensive white-matter lesions of long duration. Arch Gen Psychiatry 47:220–223Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Leys D, Soetaert G, Petit H, Fauquette A, Pruvo JP, Steinling M (1990) Periventricular and white matter magnetic resonance imaging hyperintensities do not differ between Alzheimer's disease and normal aging. Arch Neurol 47:524–527Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rao SM, Mittenberg W, Bernardin L, Haughton V, Leo GL (1989) Neuropsychological test findings in subjects with leukoaraiosis. Arch Neurol 46:40–44Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Horikoshi
    • 1
  • S. Yagi
    • 1
  • A. Fukamachi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryNasu Neurosurgical CentreTochigiJapan

Personalised recommendations