Vascular involvement of the central nervous system and systemic diseases: etiologies and MRI findings

Rheumatology International
Simone AppenzellerFernando Cendes


The objective of this study was to review magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in patients with vascular involvement of the central nervous system (CNS) associated with systemic diseases. We reviewed the MRI findings in clinically suspected cases of vascular involvement of the CNS associated with systemic diseases. Vascular CNS involvement was considered in the presence of characteristic clinical, MRI and/or MR angiography findings. In order to be included in the study, patients needed to have a complete clinical and laboratory investigation and a follow-up of a minimum of 6 months. Twenty-four patients (17 women and 7 men), with mean age of 29.5 years had diagnosis of CNS vasculitis and were included. The clinical presentation was variable, but the most common complaints were headache in 18, focal deficits in 9, disturbances of consciousness in 9, and seizures in 8 patients. Underlying causes for CNS vasculitis were identified in all patients and included systemic lupus erythematosus in eight, tuberculosis in three, bacterial meningitis in three, Takayasu arteritis in two, polyarteritis nodosa in two, syphilis in two, drug abuse in two, yellow fever in one and varicella in one patient. Nonspecific high intensity T2WI/FLAI...Continue Reading


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