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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 59-63

Intraventricular cerebrospinal fluid pulsation artifacts on low-field magnetic resonance imaging: Potential pitfall in diagnosis?

1 Department of Radiology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Department of Radiology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
3 Department of Radiology, University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Correspondence Address:
Godwin I Ogbole
Department of Radiology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.180565

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Background: Intraventricular cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pulsation artifact can pose a diagnostic problem in fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) brain magnetic resonance images (MRI) appearing as intraventricular hyperintensity. The extent of this challenge among radiologists in Africa using low-field MRI systems is relatively sparsely documented in the literature. The purpose of this study was to identify the presence and frequency of ventricular CSF pulsation artifact (VCSFA) on FLAIR axial brain images with a low-field MR system. Materials and Methods: FLAIR axial images were obtained on a low-field 0.3T unit (6000 ms/108 ms/2 [repetition time/echo time/excitations], inversion time = 1700 ms, field of view = 28 cm, matrix = 195 × 256, and 6 mm contiguous sections). Two experienced radiologists independently rated VCSFA in the lateral, third, and fourth ventricles in 202 consecutive patients (age range 1–100 years) referred for brain MR for various indications. We reviewed the pattern of artifacts, to determine its relationship to age, gender, and third ventricular size. Results: The low-field FLAIR MR brain images of 33 patients (16.3%) showed VCSFA in at least one ventricular cavity. The fourth ventricle was the most common site of VCSFA (n = 10), followed by the third ventricle (n = 8) and the lateral ventricles (n = 7). Eight patients had VCSFA in multiple locations, one of them in all ventricles. A smaller third ventricular size and, to a lesser extent, younger age was significantly associated with VCSFA. CSF Pulsation of VCSFA did not occur across the brain parenchyma in the phase encoding direction. Conclusion: VCSFA may mimic pathology on low-field axial FLAIR brain images and are more common in young patients with smaller ventricular size. Although these artifacts are less frequently observed at lower magnetic field strengths, their recognition on low-field MRI systems is important in avoiding a misdiagnosis.

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