Utility of postmortem magnetic resonance imaging in clinical neuropathology.
Over 200 brains were examined by postmortem magnetic resonance imaging to determine the utility of this imaging procedure as an adjunct to the standard postmortem examination of the brain and spinal cord. One unembalmed cadaver was also studied using a conventional 1.5-tesla (T) field-strength unit, and three formalin-fixed sections of the hippocampus were imaged using a high field-strength (7.0-T) prototype imaging system. The postmortem magnetic resonance images proved to be an invaluable aid that complemented the standard pathologic examination of the brain and spinal cord. The compelling advantages of this postmortem radiographic procedure included the three-dimensional aspects of the images; the ability to detect mineral (ie, iron) deposits; small focal lesions such as hemorrhages or infarcts; and the ability to evaluate the extent of cerebral edema. For the same reasons, as well as its archival potential for documenting the topographic distribution of pathologic processes, this technique has great promise for forensic cases. High field-strength (7.0-T) imaging brought the resolution of magnetic resonance to the microscopic level and reaffirmed the potential value of magnetic resonance imaging for diagnostic and investigative studies in which both the histologic and fine radiologic features of lesions are of interest.
Boyko, OB; Alston, SR; Fuller, GN; Hulette, CM; Johnson, GA; Burger, PC
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