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  • Author or Editor: Yukihiko Fujii x
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Ken-ichi Morita, Hitoshi Matsuzawa, Yukihiko Fujii, Ryuichi Tanaka, Ingrid L. Kwee and Tsutomu Nakada

Object. Histopathological studies indicate that cerebral edema associated with tumors (peritumoral edema) does not represent a single pathophysiological or clinical entity. In this study the authors investigated peritumoral edema by performing lambda chart analysis (LCA), a noninvasive technique that can be used to make visible and analyze apparent water diffusivity in tissues in vivo, and assessed the utility of LCA in differentiating high-grade gliomas from nonglial tumors.

Methods. The water diffusivity characteristics of peritumoral edema associated with four tumor groups—12 high-grade gliomas, five low-grade gliomas, 11 metastatic tumors, and 15 meningiomas—were assessed in 43 patients by performing magnetic resonance imaging with the aid of a 3-tesla magnetic resonance imaging system. In all tumor groups, peritumoral edema exhibited greater trace values and reduced anisotropy compared with normal white matter. Edema associated with high-grade gliomas had significantly higher trace values than edema associated with the other three tumor groups, although the anisotropic angles of those groups were comparable.

Conclusions. Lambda chart analysis identified two distinct types of peritumoral edema: edema associated with high-grade gliomas and edema associated with low-grade gliomas or nonglial tumors. The apparent water diffusivity was significantly greater in high-grade gliomas, whereas the anisotropy in these lesions was comparable to that of edema in other tumors. These findings indicated that water movement in areas of edema, predominantly in the extracellular spaces, was less restricted in high-grade gliomas, a phenomenon that likely reflected the destruction of the extracellular matrix ultrastructure by malignant cell infiltration and consequently greater water diffusion. Although preliminary, this study indicates that LCA could be used as a clinical tool for differentiating high-grade gliomas and for evaluating the extent of cellular infiltration.

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Toru Watanabe, Yoshiho Honda, Yukihiko Fujii, Miyako Koyama, Hitoshi Matsuzawa and Ryuichi Tanaka

Object. The purpose of this study was to assess how early wallerian degeneration in the corticospinal tracts of patients who had suffered from stroke was detected using three-dimensional anisotropy contrast (3D-AC) magnetic resonance (MR) axonography and to explore the possibility of predicting the prognosis for motor function in these patients.

Methods. Ten healthy volunteers and 16 stroke patients with hemiparesis were studied using MR images including 3D-AC MR axonography images obtained using a 1.5-tesla MR imaging system. The axonography was performed using an echoplanar imaging method. All patients underwent MR studies 2, 3, and 10 weeks after stroke onset. To detect wallerian degeneration, the diffusion anisotropy in the corticospinal tracts at the level of the upper pons was evaluated on axial images. These MR findings were compared with the patients' motor functions, which were classified according to the Brunnstrom criteria 12 weeks after the onset of stroke.

In all patients with poor recovery (Brunnstrom Stages I–IV), wallerian degeneration, which was demonstrated as a reduction in diffusion anisotropy on axonography images, could be observed in the corticospinal tracts; this degeneration was not found in patients with good recovery (Stages V and VI). Axonography could be used to detect degeneration between 2 and 3 weeks after stroke onset. On conventional T2-weighted MR images, hyperintense areas indicating wallerian degeneration were not detected until 10 weeks after stroke onset.

Conclusions. With the aid of 3D-AC MR axonography, wallerian degeneration can be detected in the corticospinal tracts during the early stage of stroke (2–3 weeks after onset), much earlier than it can be detected using T2-weighted MR imaging. The procedure of 3D-AC MR axonography may be useful in predicting motor function prognosis in stroke patients.

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Yuichiro Yoneoka, Naoto Watanabe, Hitoshi Matsuzawa, Itaru Tsumanuma, Satoshi Ueki, Tsutomu Nakada and Yukihiko Fujii


Three-dimensional anisotropy contrast (3DAC) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging provides clear depiction of neuronal fibers. The aim of this study was to identify intracavernous cranial nerves in patients with pituitary macro-adenoma and in healthy volunteers by using 3DAC MR imaging on a 3-tesla system and to preoperatively predict cavernous sinus invasion by pituitary macroadenoma.


Thirty-three patients (cavernous sinuses in 66 sides) with pituitary macroadenomas and 25 healthy volunteers (50 sides) participated in this study. Coronal 3DAC MR images constructed from diffusion weighted images, acquired with periodically rotated overlapping parallel lines with enhanced reconstruction (PROPELLER) sequences, and T2-weighted reverse images were obtained at the same anatomical locations using a 3-tesla MR imaging system. Attempts were made to identify the cranial nerves.


The oculomotor and ophthalmic/maxillary nerves were preoperatively identified in all sides (66 sides in patients and 50 sides in healthy volunteers) on 3DAC MR images. In the 33 patients, cavernous sinus invasion was revealed in 10 (12 [18.2%] of 66 sides) by intraoperative endoscopic observation. Coronal 3DAC MR images revealed that the oculomotor nerves were half surrounded with adenoma in all 12 of these sides, and the ophthalmic/maxillary nerves were half encapsulated with tumor (sensitivity/specificity: 100%/100% and 83%/100%, respectively).


Preoperative evaluation of pituitary macroadenomas using 3DAC PROPELLER MR imaging on a 3-tesla system is likely to be a powerful noninvasive method of detecting cavernous sinus invasion, which can potentially dominate the therapeutic strategy for these lesions.