Abstract: Given the rapid evolution and technological advances in the diagnosis and treatment of acute ischaemic stroke (AIS), including the proliferation of comprehensive stroke centres and increasing emphasis on interventional stroke therapies, the need for prompt recognition of stroke due to acute large vessel occlusion has received significant attention in the recent literature. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is the gold standard for the diagnosis of acute ischaemic stroke, as images appear positive within minutes of ischaemic injury, and a high signal-to-noise ratio enables even punctate infarcts to be readily detected. DWI lesions resulting from a single arterial embolic occlusion or steno-occlusive lesion classically lateralise and conform to a specific arterial territory. When there is a central embolic source (e.g. left atrial thrombus), embolic infarcts are often found in multiple vascular territories. However, ischaemic disease arising from aetiologies other than arterial occlusion will often not conform to an arterial territory. Furthermore, there are several important entities unrelated to ischaemic disease that can present with abnormal DWI and which should not be confused with infarct. This pictorial review explores the scope and typical DWI findings of select neurologic conditions beyond acute arterial occlusion, which should not be missed or misinterpreted. Teaching points: • DWI abnormalities due to acute arterial occlusion must be promptly identified. • DWI abnormalities not due to arterial occlusion will often not conform to an arterial territory. • Several important non-ischaemic entities can present on DWI and should not be confused with infarct.
- Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging
- Neurotoxicity syndromes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging