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Journal of the Korean Child Neurology Society 2003;11(1):111-119.
Published online May 30, 2003.
The Relationship between Underlying Diseases and the Patterns of Abnormal MR Image Findings in Childhood White Matter Diseases .
Keun Hee Lim, Han Ku Moon
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea. hkmoon@medical.yeungnam.ac.kr
Abstract
PURPOSE
In children disorders affecting brain white matter are not uncommon and MRI has high sensitivity to detect white matter lesions. We performed this study to find out the distribution of underlying diseases that show abnormal white matter image findings on brain MRI and the relationship between the underlying diseases and some particular patterns of MR imaging abnormalities. METHODS: Out of 1477 pediatric patients who visited the department of pediatrics of Yeungnam University Medical Hospital and took brain MRIs from January 1995 to June 2001, ninety five patients with white matter abnormalities on T2 MR images were evaluated retrospectively. This study excluded the patients with brain tumor, brain abscess, trauma, secondary white matter abnormalities due to hydrocephalus, cerebral infarct, and those whose main lesions were gray matter. RESULTS: The most common underlying disease was cerebral palsy(50 cases, 52.6%), followed by acute disseminated encephalitis(10 cases, 10.5%), intrauterine CMV infections (9 cases, 9.5%), inherited neurometabolic disorders(7 cases, 7.4%). In 12 patients(12.6%) with some neurological problems such as afebrile seizures and developmental delay, no underlying disease were found. The most common pattern of abnormal image findings was periventricular white matter lesions(45.3%) strongly related with cerebral palsy. The pattern of peritrigonal deep white matter lesions was found in 19 patients(20.0%), in 10 patients of whom no underlying diseases were found. The pattern of multiple round margined scattered lesions was found in all the 10 patients(10.5%) of acute disseminated encephalitis. CONCLUSION: There are diverse underlying diseases showing abnormal white matter image findings on MR in pediatric patients and particular patterns of abnormal image findings may serve to make a specific diagnosis possible. But not in a small group of children no diagnosis was established. Further studies regarding the underlying diseases affecting white matter lesions and more detailed knowledge of abnormal MR image findings are needed.
Key Words: White matter, Brain MRI


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