MRI of Intramedullary Spinal Cord Astrocytoma

General Findings

  • Spinal cord diameter enlarged.
  • Eccentric epicenter for tumor.
  • Average length of the tumor is 4 spinal segments.
  • Malignant tumors appear similar to benign.

T1-Weighted Sequence

  • Hypointense 80% of time, remaining 20% isointense.
  • Blurred margins due to infiltrative nature of tumor.
  • Gadolinium enhances in almost all cases.

T1-weighted MRI of intramedullary astrocytoma:

T1-weighted MRI with gadolinium enhancement of intramedullary astrocytoma:

 

T2-Weighted Sequence

  • Hyperintense
  • Nonhomogeneous (as opposed to edema, which is homogeneous).
  • Size matches T1-weighted sequence with benign tumors.
T2-weighted MRI of intramedullary astrocytoma: