• MM MM
    March 11, 2010
    What does hyperintensity mean on an MRI report?
    MM MM
    March 11, 2010

FROM OUR EXPERTS

  • Lisa Emrich
    Health Guide
    March 12, 2010
    Lisa Emrich
    Health Guide
    March 12, 2010

    Hyperintensity is a term used in MRI reports to describe how part of an image looks on MRI scan. Most MRIs are in black/white with shades of gray. A hyperintensity is an area that appears lighter in color than the surrounding tissues; a hypointensity would be darker in color. When we're talking about hyperintensities as seen on MRI, in the context of MS, we are talking about lesions, most commonly white matter lesions.

     

    MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. There are a variety of MRI sequences or imaging patterns used (ie. T1, T2 or FLAIR) to highlight or suppress different types of tissue so that abnormalities can be detected.

     

    Hyperintensity on a T2 sequence MRI basically means that the brain tissue in that particular spot differs from the rest of the brain. A bright spot, or hyperintensity, on T2 scan is nonspecific by itself and must be interpreted within clinical context (symptoms, why you had the MRI done in the first place, etc). T2 hyperintensities may occur in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, vasculitis (inflammation of the arteries in the brain), lyme disease. It's important to note that any tissue with a high water or protein content will tend to appear very bright on the T2 sequence.  

     

    The FLAIR sequence is used to suppress the hyperintense signal produced by water (or cerebrospinal fluid) in the brain. This is especially helpful when looking for lesions around the brain ventricles (which contain cerebrospinal fluid).

     

    • MM
      MM
      March 12, 2010
      MM
      MM
      March 12, 2010

      Thank you so much.

      I appreciate the information. I am on the long weary road of trying to determine if I have MS. Trying to be patient.

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    • JMonroe
      July 28, 2011
      JMonroe
      July 28, 2011

      I've had one doctor suggest MS and one suggest pseudo tumor cerebri.  I also have several small T2 hyperintensities  in the right frontal white matter- does this support both?  Are they related in any way?

      READ MORE

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