Cerebral Metastases of Lung Cancer Mimicking Multiple Ischaemic Lesions – A Case Report and Review of Literature
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Publication date: 2018-02-02
Pol J Radiol, 2017; 82: 530-535
Background: Restricted diffusion that is found on magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) typically indicates acute ischaemic stroke. However, restricted diffusion can also occur in other diseases, like metastatic brain tumours, which we describe in this case report.
Case Report: A 57-year-old male, with a diagnosis of small-cell cancer of the right lung (microcellular anaplastic carcinoma), was admitted with focal neurological symptoms. Initial brain MRI revealed multiple, disseminated lesions that were hyperintense on T2-weighted images and did not enhance after contrast administration; notably, some lesions manifested restricted diffusion on DWI images. Based on these findings, disseminated ischaemic lesions were diagnosed. On follow-up MRI that was performed after 2 weeks, we observed enlargement of the lesions; there were multiple, disseminated, sharply outlined, contrast-enhancing, oval foci with persistent restriction of diffusion. We diagnosed the lesions as disseminated brain metastases due to lung cancer. To our knowledge, this is the first description of a patient with brain metastases that were characterised by restricted diffusion and no contrast enhancement.
Conclusions: Multiple, disseminated brain lesions, that are characterised by restricted diffusion on DWI, typically indicate acute or hyperacute ischemic infarcts; however, they can also be due to hypercellular metastases, even if no contrast enhancement is observed. This latter possibility should be considered particularly in patients with cancer.
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