The potential of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging for predicting the outcomes of chronic subdural hematomas

Seung Hwan Lee, Jong Il Choi, Dong Jun Lim, Sung-Kon Ha, Sang-Dae Kim, Se-Hoon Kim

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) has proven useful in the study of the natural history of ischemic stroke. However, the potential of DW-MRI for the evaluation of chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) has not been established. In this study, we investigated DW-MRI findings of CSDH and evaluated the impact of the image findings on postoperative outcomes of CSDH. Methods: We studied 131 CSDH patients who had undergone single burr hole drainage surgery. The images of the subdural hematomas on preoperative DW-MRI and computed tomography (CT) were divided into three groups based on their signal intensity and density: 1) homogeneous (iso or low) density on CT and homogeneous low signal intensity on DW-MRI; 2) homogeneous (iso or low) density on CT and mixed signal intensity on DW-MRI; and 3) heterogeneous density on CT and mixed signal intensity on DW-MRI. On the basis of postoperative CT, we also divided the patients into 3 groups of surgical outcomes according to residual hematoma and mass effect. Results: Analysis showed statistically significant differences in surgical (A to B: p<0.001, A to C: p<0.001, B to C: p=0.129) and functional (A to B: p=0.039, A to C: p<0.001, B to C: p=0.108) outcomes and treatment failure rates (A to B: p=0.037, A to C: p=0.03, B to C: p=1) between the study groups. In particular, group B and group C showed worse outcomes and higher treatment failure rates than group A. Conclusion: CSDH with homogeneous density on CT was characterized by signal intensity on DW-MRI. In CSDH patients, performing DW-MRI as well as CT helps to predict postoperative treatment failure or complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Korean Neurosurgical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1



  • Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging
  • Hematoma, subdural, chronic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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