Diffusion-restricted lesions of the splenium: clinical presentation, radiographic patterns, and patient outcomes Journal Article uri icon
  • BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Diffusion-restricted (DR) lesions of the splenium are encountered in a wide variety of pathologies, and their significance is often unclear. We sought to report the spectrum of clinical presentations, neuroimaging patterns, and the predictors of radiographic and clinical outcomes from DR splenial lesions. METHODS: This was a single-center, retrospective cohort study from January 1, 2009, to August 1, 2020. A consecutive sample of 3,490 individuals who underwent brain MRI with reported corpus callosum lesions during the study period were evaluated for DR lesions in the corpus callosum. DR lesions were defined as increased signal intensity on diffusion-weighted imaging sequences with decreased signal intensity on apparent diffusion coefficient. Patients with prior neurosurgical procedures, hemorrhage-associated DR, anoxic brain injury, and chronic or previously known or characterized disease processes in the corpus callosum were excluded. Clinical and radiologic outcomes were ascertained, including readmissions within 1 year, in-hospital mortality rates, and resolution of DR at first follow-up imaging. Outcomes were defined a priori. RESULTS: Two hundred patients met criteria for inclusion. The average age was 57 years (standard deviation 19 years). Near half of the patients were women (47%). Encephalopathy (55%), focal weakness (46.5%), and cortical signs (44%) were the most common presenting clinical features. Thirty-five cases (17.5%) had features consistent with cytotoxic lesions of the corpus callosum (CLOCCs). Vascular causes were most frequent (61%), followed by malignancy-related (15%) and trauma (8%). In-hospital mortality occurred in 8.5% of cases, 46.5% were readmitted to the hospital within 1 year, and 49.1% of patients had resolution of the splenial DR at the next scan. Backward stepwise regression models showed that mass effect was negatively associated with splenial DR resolution (odds ratio [OR]: 0.12, confidence interval [CI] 0.03-0.46, p = 0.002). Encephalopathy was significantly associated with in-hospital mortality (OR: 4.50, CI 1.48-17.95, p = 0.007). Patients with a CLOCC had less frequent readmissions at 1-year compared with patients without a CLOCC, p = 0.015. DISCUSSION: Vascular DR lesions of the splenium were more common than CLOCCs and other etiologies in this cohort. While splenial DR lesions can present a clinical challenge, their associated clinical and radiographic characteristics may predict outcome and guide prognosis.

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2023
  • published in
  • Brain
  • Radiography
  • Stroke
  • Additional Document Info
  • 13
  • issue
  • 5