Aberrant paramagnetic signals outside the tumor volume on routine surveillance MRI of brain tumor patients

Shlomit Yust-Katz*, Edna Inbar, Natalia Michaeli, Dror Limon, Tali Siegal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Late complications of cerebral radiation therapy (RT) involve vascular injury with acquired cavernous malformation, telangiectasias and damage to vascular walls which are well recognized in children. Its incidence in adults is unknown. Blood products and iron deposition that accompany vascular injury create paramagnetic effects on MRI. This study retrospectively investigated the frequency of paramagnetic lesions on routine surveillance MRI of adult brain tumor patients. MRI studies of 115 brain tumor patients were reviewed. Only studies containing sequences of either susceptibility weighted images or gradient echo or blood oxygenation level dependent imaging were included. Lesions inside the tumor volume were not considered. 68 studies fulfilled the above criteria and included 48 patients with previous RT (35 followed for >2 years and 13 for 1 year) and 20 patients who were not treated with RT. The median age at time of irradiation was 47 years. Aberrant paramagnetic lesions were found in 23/35 (65%) patients followed for >2 years after RT and in only 1/13 (8%) patients followed for 1-year after radiation (p = 0.03). The 1-year follow-up group did not differ from the control group [2/20 (9%)]. Most lesions were within the radiation field and none of the patients had related symptomatology. The number and incidence of these lesions increased with time and amounted to 75% over 3 years post RT. MRI paramagnetic signal aberrations are common findings in adult brain tumor patients that evolve over time after RT. The clinical significance of these lesions needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-376
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Brain tumor
  • Cavernous malformation
  • MRI
  • Microbleed
  • Paramagnetic lesion
  • Radiation


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